Wednesday 22 October 2014

Love/Hate star avoids jails over drug dealing charge

Andrew Phelan

Published 09/07/2014 | 11:39

Love/Hate star Leroy Harris
Love/Hate star Leroy Harris

A LOVE/HATE actor who admitted a drug dealing charge has been ordered to carry out community service instead of a jail sentence.

Leroy Harris (20) was told by a judge he must perform 150 hours of work in the community if he is to avoid six months in prison.

He had previously been given a chance to escape conviction completely by taking part in a restorative justice programme.

However, Dublin District Court heard he had “made a mess” of this and Judge Michael Walsh proceeded to convict him.

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 community service suitability report.

Judge Walsh finalised the case after hearing he had been found suitable.

Previously, the court was told a report from a restorative justice programme was negative.

That 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.

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

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.

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

His explanation was he had the drugs for friends.

He 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.

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

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