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Judge tells Belfast woman caught with heroin needle to have a 'good, but very sober, Christmas'


Belfast Magistrates’ Court (PA)

Belfast Magistrates’ Court (PA)

Belfast Magistrates’ Court (PA)

A judge today implored a Belfast woman caught with a needle full of heroin to have a "good, but very sober, Christmas".

Shiela Forgione, 40, was given 12 months probation for having the Class A drug in the city centre.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard she was stopped following a suspected transaction at High Street on September 16.

A prosecution lawyer said Forgione, with an address at Waring Street, disclosed that she had a needle containing heroin on her.

Searches confirmed the drug's presence in her pocket.

Defence counsel stressed Forgione has managed to keep off heroin for the past four weeks.

She is also waiting to get onto a methadone substitute programme amid attempts to remain drug free.

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"She is looking after her health a lot better," the barrister added.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall praised Forgione, but urged her to continue her efforts.

The defendant replied: "I know, it's hard, but I just want to say thank you."

Mrs Bagnall stressed that she was the one doing the work.

Imposing 12 months probation, she told her it was so that "when you're having a dark day it's somebody to be able to turn to".

Before Forgione left the dock the judge stressed: "I want you to have a good Christmas, but I want you to have a very sober Christmas. Look after yourself."

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