Heroin addict found injecting in Belfast toilets avoids jail
A heroin addict discovered at public toilets with a needle still attached to his arm has avoided prison.
Gerard Walsh was given a four-month suspended term for being caught with the Class A drug near Queen's University in Belfast.
The 26-year-old, of Moyard Crescent in the west of the city, also had £400 in counterfeit bank notes when arrested on January 6 this year.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police saw him and two others acting suspiciously close to the toilet block.
A prosecution lawyer said Walsh had a needle attached to his arm while a silver spoon full of brown liquid was spotted on the ground.
Searches recovered a bag containing the fake currency and other items.
During interviews Walsh said another man had injected heroin just before police arrived.
He had attempted to mix the residue with water in a bid to get a hit for himself, the court heard.
The defendant claimed he found the bag on the ground while making his way to the toilets.
Defence barrister Conn O'Neill acknowledged the incident had occurred just weeks after his client's release from prison for other offences.
Mr O'Neill stressed, however, that Walsh is now trying to gain help for his addiction issues.
Imposing a total of four months imprisonment for possessing the heroin and counterfeit currency, Deputy District Judge Liam McStay told the defendant to stay away from drugs.
He warned: "If there's a repetition you will be going to custody."
Belfast Telegraph Digital