Offender bought heroin because he got more in benefits than usual

Friday 6th May 2022 5:18 am

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A drug user has been fined £250 for possessing heroin and cannabis.

Mark Roberts told police he had bought the heroin because he had received more benefits than usual.

The 46-year-old admitted both offences and was also ordered by magistrates to pay £125 prosecution costs.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon told the court that a search warrant was executed at Roberts’ home at Close Ny Mooragh, Ramsey, on January 17.

He was present and at first refused to let go of something which he was clenching in his hand.

After agreeing to show police what it was, he revealed diamorphine (heroin) and cannabis.

Roberts told police: ‘It’s just a bit of weed.’

In total police found two grams of heroin, valued at between £300 and £500 depending on how it was cut, and 6.4 grams of cannabis, valued by police at £128.

At police headquarters, during an interview he said: ‘Not all of it was class A.’

Roberts said he had received larger benefits than normal so he had bought four grams of heroin.

He said he was a regular user and that he had divided heroin up into individual amounts of 0.1 grams so he didn’t take too much of it at once.

He said that he had also bought 10 grams of cannabis with his surplus cash.

Ms Carroon submitted that the case was suitable for summary court sentencing.

Defence advocate David Reynolds asked for credit to be given for his client’s guilty pleas.

‘It was not a sophisticated offence, the drugs were recovered quite easily and weren’t hidden.

‘During interview he gave an account that the drugs were for his own use.’

Mr Reynolds went on to say that Roberts had had difficulties with drugs since he was 15 or 16 years old and was continuing to receive help from the drug and alcohol team.

The advocate said that his client had relapsed into his drug use after family bereavements in recent years and was unfit for work injuries he suffered in 1997 and in 2015.

Roberts was said to be still completing a community service order imposed in 2020, which had been delay due to Covid.

He has 54 hours left to do.

Magistrates fined Roberts £250 for the heroin possession, with no separate penalty made for the cannabis possession offence.

He will pay the fine and costs at a rate of £20 per week deducted from benefits.

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