Judge hopes Ballymena overdose teenager is ‘turning a corner’

Ballymena Magistrates Court

A JUDGE said he hopes a teenager who overdosed on drugs and was taken to hospital by ambulance is “turning the corner” in his life and said he would give him a “last chance”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking to Declan McConnell (18), of Dunclug Park in Ballymena, at the town’s Magistrates Court on November 8.

The defendant admitted a number of charges detected on various dates this year involving possession of Ecstasy, cannabis and Diazepam.

The court heard that after the defendant overdosed in his home on April 28 this year, Ecstasy had been discovered.

A prosecutor said that in March this year police on a bicycle patrol saw McConnell who appeared to be under the influence of drugs in the Fairhill Lane in Ballymena and they found a grinder containing herbal cannabis.

On April 9 this year police spoke to the occupants of a car at the car park near McDonald’s in Ballymena and the defendant was found to have seven Diazepam tablets and a grinder.

He told police he was addicted to the medication but was seeking medical help.

On September 9 police spoke to McConnell in Ballymena’s Cushendall Road area and he had a bag of herbal cannabis and was in possession of an offensive weapon – a hammer.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant is now getting on “exceptionally well” and after working in a pork factory is now employed in the construction industry.

Judge Broderick said he hoped the defendant’s life was “turning the corner” as he now had a job and he said he was going to give him what would probably be his “last chance” to address the addiction issues by putting him on Probation for a year with a condition that he takes steps to tackle the drugs issues.

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