Man admitted sniffing cocaine in police cell

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A Ballymena man was spotted “sniffing something” at 4am whilst in a police cell at Antrim Custody Suite in January this year and he admitted it was cocaine.

Anthony Dowds (21), of Millfield, had the offence detected on January 14 this year

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday a prosecutor said CCTV showed the defendant “sniffing something” and a small bag with trace amounts of powder was seized from the side of a mattress.

During a police interview, Dowds admitted it was cocaine.

He also previously pleaded guilty to damaging two parking meters at Meetinghouse Lane, Ballymena, belonging to Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and stealing £320 in cash two days before Christmas last year.

A prosecutor said the defendant was identified by CCTV.

A prosecutor said during a police interview Dowds admitted it was him on the CCTV but he denied causing damage and said he could not explain why he was at the scene for “several hours in the middle of the night” or why he was in possession of a piece of the meter.

A defence lawyer said her client has had some difficulties with drugs but is now drugs free.

She said the defendant had been drinking large amounts of alcohol and had little recollection but accepted he was present.

He was ordered to do 120 hours Community Service and pay £400 compensation towards the stolen money and damage to the meters. Another co-accused has already appeared in court.