Defence barrister urges Ballymena court judge to jail drug addict ‘for her own good’

Ballymena Court

A barrister for a woman who shoplifted in Larne urged a judge to jail her…saying it was for her own good.

Lawyer Neil Moore was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court regarding Jolene Murray (30), with a Belfast address.

She appeared at court via video link from Hydebank in connection with stealing a £45 watch from McFarland’s Chemist on November 19, 2017.

Mr Moore said the defendant had ongoing issues with drugs misuse but whilst in prison on remand she had been getting a drugs substitute – methadone – daily.

He said prison was the “best place” for the defendant to stabilise her drugs issue and said a period of custody was “ironically” going to be in her best interest.

Mr Moore said the defendant needed to get away from a “toxic merry-go-round” of drug misuse and “bad” relationships.

The barrister said that, unusually, he was asking the judge, on her behalf, to jail her.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant she had an extensive record but there was a “clear and helpful” Probation report.

He jailed the defendant for six months which included the activation of a suspended sentence.

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