Suspended sentence for Latvian man caught with heroin in Belfast
A Latvian man caught with heroin after arriving in Belfast has been handed a three-month suspended prison sentence.
Police discovered five wraps of the Class A drug on Sergejs Martinovs when he was searched in the city centre on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin at his first appearance before Belfast Magistrates' Court.
Prosecution lawyer Stephanie Boyd said officers saw him passing something as they watched a number of men on High Street.
Martinovs was stopped and admitted he had paid £75 for the heroin, planning to use it himself.
Defence counsel told the court her client is a builder who had been living in the Republic of Ireland.
"He came up from Dublin to try and find work," she said.
Deputy District Judge Gerard Trainor ruled the offence was serious enough to cross the custody threshold.
"The court is quite entitled to send you to prison for what happened yesterday [Wednesday] on the streets of Belfast," he told Martinovs.
But suspending the three-month jail term for two years, Mr Trainor warned him of the consequences of any further offending during that period.
"If you are caught in possession of any drug in this jurisdiction you will go to prison."
Belfast Telegraph Digital