Drug rap Love/Hate actor ordered to carry out restorative justice work

An actor, who featured in the cat-killing scene in the hit crime series Love/Hate, has been given a chance to avoid a criminal conviction and a possible sentence for dealing cannabis.

First-time offender Leroy Harris (aged 19) was today ordered to carry out a series of tasks as part of restorative justice programme supervised by the Probation Service.

He 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 had been caught with two packets of cannabis, Dublin District Court had been told during an earlier hearing when Judge Michael Walsh had asked for a probation report to be prepared.

Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins today asked Judge Walsh to note that “there is an exceptionally positive report before the court.”

The judge said that the report was instructive, had addressed Harris's employment and education, and showed that he was at a “low risk of offending in the next 12 months”. He noted that Harris had no prior criminal convictions, was not using drugs, and has a supportive family.

He ordered Harris to engage in a restorative justice programme saying this could make him aware of the effect his actions had on the general community.

Harris will have to carry out restorative justice tasks set to him by the Probation Service and if they are successfully completed the young actor can, at his next appearance, ask the court to spare him a criminal conviction.

The judge explained to the young man that the plan will involve doing acts for the benefit of others and the case was adjourned until June.

The court had heard earlier that Harris had been searched in a premises by gardaí after he had been 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.

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 previously in the case that 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 earlier.

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.

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