Sunday 26 October 2014

Love/Hate actor made 'mess' of restorative justice programme, court hears

Andrew Phelan

Published 11/06/2014 | 15:33

Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris outside Dublin District Court
Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris

A LOVE/HATE actor who admitted a drug dealing charge has missed out on a chance to avoid a criminal record after making a “mess” of a restorative justice programme.

Leroy Harris (20) had been told he could be left without a conviction if he took part in the scheme.

Instead, he now faces a conviction and a community service order after Dublin District Court heard a report on him from restorative justice was “negative.”

Judge Michael Walsh said he will order Harris to carry out 150 hours work in the community in lieu of a six-month jail sentence if he is found suitable.

The judge told the young actor he was jeopardising his “promising” career and had himself to blame.

The court also heard how Harris had recently been the subject of a “serious assault with a firearm.”

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

He pleaded guilty last November and his case was back before the court today for the production of a restorative justice programme report.

The report stated that Harris “did not understand the consequences of cannabis use for himself and in a general societal sense.”

Defence Solicitor Cahir O’Higgins said the accused was regretful and “old enough to know better.”

Judge Walsh said the accused’s career seemed to be promising but “he seems to be doing everything he can to jeopardise that” with the offence and his attitude to the programme.

The judge said he had hoped for a more positive outcome but the accused “could blame himself for that.”

He adjourned the case to a date in July for a community service suitability report.

Previously, the court was told a probation report on Harris was “exceptionally positive.”

In relation to the offence, a garda sergeant said 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 had secured "a minor role in a very prominent drama that was on RTE,” the court heard.

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.

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