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Court

Friend admits owning drugs that landed woman in court

AN ENNISKILLEN woman has been acquitted of cannabis possession after her friend came forward in court and said the drugs belonged to him.
Tanya Gillen (45) of Willowvale appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where she contested a single charge of possessing a Class B drug.
A police officer told the court he had been at Gillen’s home in Willowvale, on an unrelated matter, on the night of May 18th.
He was sitting in the kitchen when he noticed a smell of cannabis and discovered a small plastic wrap of cannabis on a radiator.
When he put the charge of possession to Gillen, she denied the wrap belonged to her and said she did not smoke cannabis.
Gillen said she did not know who owned it or how it got there, and said that it had just been her and her two young sons in her home that day.
In her evidence to the court, Gillen said she learned who the owner of the cannabis was the next day after her friend rang and asked her if she had “found anything” in her kitchen.
Gillen told the court she had told police she had found out who the owner was, but had not told them his name.
She said a police officer told her to “tell it to a judge.”
The defendant’s friend who had claimed ownership of the drugs then took to the stand to say the package was his.
He said it had fallen out of his jacket pocket when he had visited, and said he could not let an innocent woman get in trouble, so had come to court to “own up” to it.
District Judge Steven Keown said it was unfortunate Gillen and her friend had waited until the court trial to reveal who had owned the cannabis.
Pointing out her friend could still be prosecuted for the offence, and ordering the police to “take note” of the man’s evidence, he acquitted Gillen of the charge.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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