Man caught in Belfast with heroin urged to pay fine or face new year in jail
A man caught preparing heroin in Belfast city centre will spend the new year behind bars unless he pays a £300 fine immediately, a judge has warned.
Samuel Robinson, 33, was arrested with a female co-accused after they were discovered at Coles Alley on Boxing Day.
Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday, Robinson, of no fixed abode, admitted a charge of possessing Class A drugs.
With no lawyer to represent him, he said: "I'll just plead guilty now and see what happens - I have no previous (convictions)."
A prosecution lawyer set out how Robinson had been getting the heroin ready when he was detained.
Based on his clear record, District Judge Liam McNally decided to impose an immediate fine instead of a prison sentence.
But he stressed: "Unless you pay the £300 order you will serve seven days in custody."
Robinson responded by asking if that meant he would go to jail straight away.
He then laughed, told the judge "see you later" and headed for the cells.
Mr McNally called after him: "Goodbye, Happy New Year."
Belfast Telegraph Digital