‘Love/Hate’ actor must finish community service, court told

Three months’ service remains before Leroy Harris can be sentenced for cannabis charge

Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris: has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis at an address on Rutland Street, in Dublin 1, on October 8th, 2012, and having the drug for the purpose of sale or supply to another on the same date.  Photograph: Collins Courts

Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris: has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis at an address on Rutland Street, in Dublin 1, on October 8th, 2012, and having the drug for the purpose of sale or supply to another on the same date. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Love/Hate actor has three months to finish community service work before he can be sentenced for storing €2,500 worth of cannabis, a court heard on Tuesday.

Dublin District Court has been told Leroy Harris (21) was given an “ultimatum” and pressurised into storing cannabis to repay a drug debt.

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

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

However 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 another cannabis possession offence. Last week, defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony told Judge Halpin that Harris has “still not completed those hours”.

On Tuesday, the case resumed and Mr O’Mahony said his client has set about doing his remaining community service work and “did a few hours last Friday”.

Judge Halpin agreed it must be completed before the court can give Harris community service again and he adjourned the case until a date in October.

He has heard that Harris “was holding the drugs on behalf of a third party”.

The defence solicitor has said that his client, who remains on bail, had built up a cannabis debt worth about €1,000 and this happened when Harris was 18. 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 [and] he took it on himself to comply”.

Mr O’Mahony asked the court to note that his client had acted in an RTÉ drama but does not have consistent work.

He has said Harris no longer abuses drugs, has “wised up” and his supportive family 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 also said. The young actor, who has an address at Mariner’s Port, Dublin 1, played the character Glen in Love/Hate.

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