Man had cannabis in pocket

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A MAN was fined after being found with a piece of cannabis in his pocket.

Leslie Christopher Dowson was searched by police and the small piece of the class B drug was found in his pocket, justices heard.

The 37-year-old told officers it was for his own personal use, as he regularly smoked the substance, and he was charged with possession of drugs.

Prosecutor Joanne Hesse told Hartlepool Magistrates Court on Monday: "The defendant was arrested for an unrelated matter at 12.40am on the morning of January 1.

"He was searched in custody and a small piece of brown substance was found in his pocket.

"It was examined and was found to be cannabis resin.

"He admitted having possession of cannabis and said he smoked it regularly, and had forgotten it was in his pocket."

She added: "He has 11 drug-related matters on his record from 1996 to 2009."

Dowson, of St Oswalds Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of class B drugs on January 1.

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said: "This was a small piece of cannabis found in his pocket and he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity."

Chairman of the bench Keith Fisher fined him 100, ordered him to pay 85 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.