A Northern Irish man living in Mayo was given a stark warning by Judge Mary Devins that if he was convicted for drug offences for a third time in a district court he could face a prison sentence.
Joseph Lee of Lisgorman, Bohola, Castlebar pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis in court. On September 1 2008, he was stopped by Gardaí in his car who searched the vehicle and found €10 worth of cannabis. Solicitor for Lee, Linda Lenihan told the court that her client was from Northern Ireland originally and was currently on disability benefit from there as he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following from atrocities he witnessed in the north. The court heard he used cannabis to relieve the stress he suffered from this disorder. He also had problems sleeping and found that cannabis helped him sleep better. Lee had a previous conviction for possession of cannabis in 2006.
Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined him €300 and warned Lee that a district court can only fine people for their first two drug possession offences, but a third offence carried a 12 month prison sentence.