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Drug rap actor needs to finish community service

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Leroy Harris
Leroy Harris

Dublin District Court has heard that Leroy Harris (21) was given an “ultimatum” and pressured into storing cannabis to repay a drug-debt.

Harris, who had a recurring role in the hit RTE crime drama, has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis at an address on Rutland Street, in Dublin 1, on October 8, 2012, and having the drug for the purpose of sale or supply to another on the same date.

Judge Anthony Halpin noted that in an earlier case, last year, Harris was ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service in lieu of a six-month sentence for cannabis possession.

Defence solicitor Stephen O'Mahony told Judge Halpin today that Harris has “still not completed those hours” and the Probation Service want him to address that.

Judge Halpin has sought an updated probation report on Harris's suitability for doing another 90 hours community service in lieu of a six-month term.

He remanded him on continuing bail to appear again next week. 

Defence solicitor Stephen O'Mahony has told Judge Halpin that Harris “was holding the drugs on behalf of a third party”.

The solicitor said that his client had built up a cannabis debt worth about €1,000 and this happened when Harris was 18-years-old.

He said Harris had been smoking cannabis recreationally during his teenage years but as a result of the debt “he was given an ultimatum” and “he had to hold the drugs or he would face the consequences, he took it on himself to comply”.

Mr O'Mahony asked the court to note that his client had acted in an RTE drama but like a lot of actors he does not have consistent work.

His solicitor said Harris no longer abuses drugs; he said the young man has “wised up” and his family were supportive and want to make sure he will not get into trouble again.

Judge Anthony Halpin has accepted Harris “yielded to pressure placed on him because of a particular debt that was capitalised upon by these people”.

“It is amazing the stranglehold these pushers have over people over money and it does not help these people kick the habit,” he has also said.

The budding actor, who has an address at from Mariner's Port, Dublin 1, played the character Glen in the hit RTE drama Love/Hate.

One of his scenes was at the centre of a controversy for showing his on-screen character filming a friend firing shots from an automatic weapon and killing a cat.