Northern Ireland news

Attempted robber avoids jail to continue with drug rehabilitation

Laganside Court in Belfast

A RECOVERING drug addict who admitted attempting to snatch a woman's handbag in desperation for money to feed his heroin habit, was freed today by a court to continue with his recovery programme.

Belfast Crown Court had heard that 24-year-old Dylan James Logan's downward spiral into addiction and mental health problems began even before he was a teenager and initiated by his own father who introducted him to drugs.

Logan, from Tynan Drive in Newtownabbey, agreed to undergo three years probation after Judge Donna McColgan QC described his as a "wholly exceptional case" not least because of his drug induced chaotic and unstructured upbringing.

Judge McColgan said she was "fully aware" of the guidelines for dealing with such robbery cases often characterised as unsophisticated street robbery, although no doubt very frightening for his victim.

The judge said she was prepared to accept the defence submissions of Sean Mullan and appeals from his family who urged the court to allow Logan to continue with his drug rehabilitation and give him the chance of a 'better future'.

In the circumstances Judge McColgan said under the circumstances she was prepared to take "a wholly exceptional course".

The judge also told Logan he should be grateful to his defence team and his family and those who had reported and spoken on his behalf.

In addition to the attempted robbery charge, Logan also admitted possessing a stun gun, which the court accepted he had, not to commit a robbery, but for his own protection following a serious assault he had suffered.

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