Tuesday 12 December 2017

Love/Hate actor pleads guilty to drug dealing charge

Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris outside Dublin District Court earlier today
Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris outside Dublin District Court earlier today
Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris arriving at Dublin District Court earlier today
Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris leaving Dublin District Court yesterday at a previous court hearing earlier this month
Glen (Leroy Harris) guns down Wayne (Barry Keoghan) in a scene from Love/Hate series 4, episode 6

A LOVE/HATE actor who starred in the notorious cat-killing scene in the TV drama has admitted a drug dealing charge.

Leroy Harris (19) was caught putting €100 worth of cannabis down his trousers while gardai were carrying out a search near his north Dublin home last month.

He was remanded on continuing bail after a judge ordered a pre-sentence probation report on him at Dublin district court.

He entered the plea today on his second court appearance since his arrest in October.

The budding actor is familiar to Love/Hate viewers following the shocking scene in the last series 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.

A garda sergeant told the court that officers were carrying out a search of a premises at 6pm on the day when they saw the accused placing a suspected drugs package down his trousers.

He was arrested and brought to Store Street Garda Station, where two plastic packages containing a "plant-like material" were found.

This proved to be cannabis herb worth €100.

Harris had no previous convictions and "very much regretted" the incident, his solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said.

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 involved in the "pro-social" activity of teaching acting to children on a voluntary basis. His acting would "open a lot of doors" to him if he "manages to keep on the straight and narrow".

The court heard Harris was anxious to be left without a conviction as he wished to travel.

"If the court could see any way to leave him without a conviction he will grasp that opportunity with both hands", Mr O'Higgins said.

Judge Michael Walsh said it was a very serious matter but he was taking account of the accused's lack of prior convictions. He adjourned the case to a date in January for the preparation of a probation report.

The accused, wearing a black tracksuit top and grey bottoms, did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Mr Harris is an emerging screen talent. He received a nomination for an award from the Irish Film and Television Academy ( IFTA) for his role in the RTE series Prosperity.

Mr Harris was just 13-years-old when he took that role and was praised for his sensitive portrayal of a teenager bullied because of his stammer.

His role in the shocking opening scene of the current series of Love/Hate gained him instant notoriety.

His character, Glen, was shown filming his friend Wayne who unleashed a volley of shots from an automatic weapon, killing a cat.

Wayne sprayed bullets from the weapon he was minding for dissident republican moll Lizzie.

Mr Harris also appeared alongside Tina Kellegher and Simon Delaney in the 2009 film Happy Ever Afters, directed by Stephen Burke.

Andrew Phelan

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