Fined for possessing drugs

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A woman who used her benefits to buy drugs ‘in bulk’ has been ordered to pay a fine.

Tracey Smith, of Glenview Street, pleaded guilty to possessing diazepam on April 19.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 39-year-old had also received a caution for possession of the class C drug earlier this year.

The court was told Smith’s home was searched and officers found a ‘large quantity’ of diazepam.

During police interview, the 39-year-old said she had an addiction to the drug and decided to buy it in ‘bulk’.

In total 385 tablets were seized, which the defendant had bought with her benefits for £1 each.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court Smith has ‘long standing mental health issues’ and bought the drugs to ‘make-up the difference’ after the dose of her prescribed medication was reduced.

He added that Smith is awaiting an appointment with the local drug rehabilitation therapy centre to get help with her addiction.

Fining Smith £250, Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall said ‘If she can find money to buy drugs, she can certainly find money to pay a fine’.

The judge told the 39-year-old that she ‘needs to learn her lesson’ after receiving a caution and appearing in court for drugs offences.

She said the court ‘won’t have a lot of sympathy for her’ if she is caught in possession of drugs again.

Judge Marshall also ordered the destruction of the diazepam seized by police.