Courts

Sunday 13 July 2014

Sentence wait for Love/Hate actor on drug rap

Andrew Phelan

Published 21/01/2014|16:15

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Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris
Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris

A LOVE/HATE actor who admitted a drug dealing charge has had his sentencing adjourned after missing an appointment with his probation officer.

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Leroy Harris (19), who starred in the TV drama's notorious cat-killing scene, was remanded on continuing bail for six weeks for the preparation of a probation report after a judge agreed to give him "another chance".

He had been due to have his case finalised but Dublin District Court heard he had been away with his family when the probation office sent a letter to arrange an appointment.

Judge Denis McLoughlin adjourned the case to a date in March, saying he was "pushing the boat out" for Harris.

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

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 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.

When the case came back before the court this morning for a pre-sentence report, he was not present and Judge McLoughlin issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

However, he turned up later and the judge cancelled the warrant after defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said the defendant had "mistaken the date".

A report that had been ordered was not ready and the court heard Harris had missed an appointment with his probation officer.

Mr O'Higgins explained that Harris had been away for a couple of weeks with his family and when they returned, he noticed letters from the probation office.

"He made his way into my office with a degree of panic and haste that he had missed his appointment", Mr O'Higgins said.

The accused had been advised that this was now a matter for the judge.

Mr O'Higgins asked Judge McLoughlin to give Harris an opportunity to engage fully with the probation service. He was in court with his aunt who was there to make sure "things didn't go awry" again. He asked the judge to give the accused a second chance.

Judge McLoughlin said Harris was a "big boy now" and should not need his aunt. He agreed to adjourn the case and said the court was "pushing the boat out" for Harris.

The judge remanded him on continuing bail to March 4.

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 continued.

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

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