Drug rap Love/Hate star gets community service

Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris has been ordered to carry out 150 hours' community service to avoid six months in jail for supplying cannabis.

Dublin District Court had heard the 20-year-old “made a mess” of his chance at avoiding a criminal record.

He had pleaded guilty 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.

Judge Michael Walsh said today that the latest probation report stated Harris was suitable for a community service sanction, and he ordered him to perform 150 hours of work which will be assigned to him by the Probation Service.

Failure to comply with the order will result in a six-month jail term, the judge directed, and Harris answered “yeah” when asked if he understood the consequences of breaching the order.

The young actor, who suffered injuries in a gun attack in May, had been caught with two packets of cannabis, Dublin District Court had been told during an earlier hearing.

Harris, who feared his career could have been damaged by a criminal conviction, had been searched in a premises by gardai after he had been spotted putting a suspected drugs package down his trousers. Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins had said the then 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 at an earlier stage. The court had also heard that in his spare time Harris teaches acting to youngsters on a voluntary basis.

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.

The young first-time offender had originally been ordered by the court to engage with the Probation Services in a restorative justice programme. The plan, if successfully completed, could have spared him a criminal record and any further punishment.

But last month Judge Walsh had been was furnished with a negative report on the 20-year-old actor.

In his meetings with probation officers he did not show an understanding of the consequences of cannabis use on himself and “in a general societal sense”.

Judge Walsh also said last month that the actor, who has recently returned to education to complete the Leaving Certificate, had a promising acting career and “now he is jeopardising that career”.

“Mr Harris can blame himself for that,” the judge had also said.

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