News Courts

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Love/Hate actor can avoid conviction on drugs charge

Andrew Phelan

Published 04/03/2014 | 16:23

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Leroy Harris

A LOVE/HATE actor who admitted a drug dealing charge has been told he can avoid a criminal record by taking part in a restorative justice programme.

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Leroy Harris (19), was given three months to take part in the programme, after which it will be open to the courts to leave him without a conviction.

Dublin District Court heard this was recommended by the probation service, which has assessed him and put him at a low risk of re-offending.

Harris, who starred in the TV drama's notorious cat-killing scene, was remanded on continuing bail.

The accused, with an address at Mariner's Port in the north inner city, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply.

He also admitted a related count of simple possession of the drug at Sheriff Street on October 14 last.

Harris was caught putting €100 worth of cannabis down his trousers while gardai were carrying out a search near his home.

The budding actor became familiar to Love/Hate viewers following the shocking scene in which his character Glen filmed his pal Wayne shooting a cat with an Uzi machine gun.

He pleaded guilty last November and his case was back before the court for the production of a probation report.

Defence Solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said the report was "exceptionally positive". Reading it, Judge Michael Walsh said it was instructive in terms of Harris's education and employment.  He remarked that the defendant had resumed his studies and was remorseful about his offending behaviour.

"He has taken several steps which should reduce his risk of reoffending in the future", Judge Walsh said.

Harris had no previous convictions, was not using drugs and had a "supportive family environment". Judge Walsh said he would follow the recommendation of the probation officer and allow Harris to engage in the restorative justice programme. He explained that it aimed to raise awareness of the effects of accused's activities on the general community.

The case was adjourned to a date in June.

Previously, a garda sergeant told the court officers were carrying out a search of a premises when they saw the accused placing a suspected drugs package down his trousers.

He was arrested and two plastic packages of cannabis herb were found.

His explanation was he had the drugs for friends.

Harris was a young man with "great potential for the future". He had attended an acting course which secured him "a minor role in a very prominent drama that was on RTE".

He was currently unemployed but hoped to take up a course shortly to further his acting career, Mr O'Higgins said.

He was also involved in the "pro-social" activity of teaching acting to children on a voluntary basis.

As well as his role in Love/Hate, Harris appeared alongside Tina Kellegher and Simon Delaney in the 2009 film Happy Ever Afters, directed by Stephen Burke.

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