Bessbrook man claimed he was unaware tea bags found in police search contained cannabis – Armagh I
A Bessbrook man who claimed he was unaware tea bags found during a search of his home contained cannabis has been fined £ 450.
The court heard that the 35-year-old claimed to have purchased two of the items at Nutts Corner Market and the third at Fairyhouse Market in Co Meath.
Michael Gerard Drummond, of Oror Park, disputed three counts of Class B possession at Newry Magistrates on Wednesday.
The prosecution said that on March 15, 2019, police went to the accused’s home to conduct a search.
Meanwhile, officers located tea bags inside a lunch box that sat on a high shelf in a kitchen cupboard.
Drummond told police that such items could be purchased from Holland & Barrett, but later admitted that he did not purchase them from such a store.
The defendant said he bought two of the items at Nutts Corner Market and the third at Fairyhouse Market in Co Meath.
All three were subsequently subjected to a forensic examination and found to contain cannabis. The items seized by police were presented in court to District Judge Eamonn King.
The court heard that Drummond told police during the interview that he was unaware the tea bags contained cannabis and that he mistook them for his arthritis.
However, the prosecution said it believed the accused would not have placed the items in the “upper left corner” of his kitchen cupboard, “out of sight”, if that had been the case.
Defense attorney said Drummond was relying on the “statutory defense” that he did not know the tea bags contained cannabis.
He said: “CBD and hemp tea are legal in the UK and are widely available in health food stores, such as Holland & Barrett, which was bred by Mr Drummond.”
The legal representative added that his client had placed the items out of the way so that they would not be mistaken for “normal” tea.
After reviewing the exhibits, the King District Judge convicted Drummond, stating, “It looks like cannabis to me and it would look like cannabis to anyone.”
The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £ 450, as well as a fee of £ 15 for the offender.
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