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Man who threw bag of cannabis from car is jailed

A man who threw a bag of cannabis from his car as police approached was jailed for two months today.

Neil Hawkins denied having any drugs when officers stopped him in Newtownabbey on February 12.

But after the smell of cannabis was detected a bag containing a quantity was found during a search of the Monkstown Road.

Hawkins, 42, of Minorca Drive, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, was convicted of possessing Class B drugs.

During a sentencing hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court he repeatedly drew on an asthma inhaler.

At one stage as his lawyer urged the judge to be lenient Hawkins clasped his hands in prayer.

The defence solicitor argued that only a small bag of cannabis was involved.

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"He has a problem of alcohol and substance abuse," the lawyer acknowledged.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall identified Hawkins' previous record for drugs offences and having contested the case as counting against him.

She imposed a one-month prison term for the cannabis possession and added a further month from a previous suspended sentence.

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