Love/Hate actor misses court hearing after date mix-up

A young actor, who featured in the controversial cat-killing scene in the hit crime series Love/Hate, has been given another chance to co-operate with the Probation Service before he is sentenced for dealing cannabis.

Leroy Harris (aged 19) had pleaded guilty earlier to unlawful possession of cannabis worth €100, and having the drug for the purpose of sale or supply, at Sheriff Street, in north inner city Dublin, on October 14 last.

The young actor, who has no prior criminal convictions, had been caught with two packets of cannabis, Dublin District Court had heard last month before it had adjourned sentencing until today for a probation report to be prepared.

However, today Harris did not turn up to his hearing and Judge Denis McLoughlin initially issued a bench warrant for his arrest. He also noted that there was no pre-sentence report before the court because Harris had missed his appointment with his probation officer.

Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins explained that his client had thought the case was due to resume on another date.

In relation to the probation report, Mr O'Higgins said Harris had been away with family members.

When he returned he noticed there were letters from the Probation Service and he went to his lawyer in a panic.

Mr O'Higgins asked the judge to note that Harris had no prior criminal convictions and he pleaded for his client to be given another chance to re-engage fully with his probation officer.

He also said that an aunt of Harris had come to court and Judge McLoughlin cancelled the warrant before agreeing to order an updated pre-sentence probation report. The case was adjourned until March.

The court had heard that Harris had been searched in a premises by gardaí after had been seen spotted putting a suspected drugs package down his trousers. Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins had said the 19-year-old had the cannabis for friends.

At the initial hearing last month, he had also told the court that Harris had taken up acting in Marino College when he was in his fifth year and has great potential for the future.

Mr O'Higgins had said Harris was very lucky “to secure a role in a very prominent drama on RTE” and this could open up doors for his acting career.

“A conviction might prejudice his capacity to travel,” the lawyer has submitted in pleas for leniency.

The court also heard that in his spare time Harris teaches acting to youngsters on a voluntary basis.

“If the court could see any way to leave him without a conviction, he will grasp that opportunity with both hands,” Mr O'Higgins had told the court.

The budding actor, who has an address at from Mariner's Port, Dublin, featured in the latest season of the hit RTE drama Love/Hate. His role in the opening scene of the series was at the centre of a controversy for its graphic depiction of his on-screen character, Glen, filming his friend Wayne firing shots from an automatic weapon and killing a cat.

Previously he had earned a nomination for an award from the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) for his role in the RTE series “Prosperity” where he played the role a teenager bullied because he had a stammer.

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