Drugs in court the 'stupidest case'

BY FELICITY ROSS
Last updated 05:00 23/04/2010

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A judge asked a New Plymouth man whether his was the stupidest case that day after the defendant took cannabis into the New Plymouth District Court.

"A fear of lashing out" was reason enough to convince James Aaron Dean Romaine, 29, to take two grams of cannabis in a film container into the court house on Tuesday.

Romaine appeared in front of Judge John Macdonald yesterday on one charge of possession of cannabis.

"Words fail me. Is this the stupidest case today?" Judge Macdonald asked, to which defence counsel Pamela Jensen replied "no".

Police told the court that Romaine had been searched on his arrival at the court house on April 20 and had given security staff a blue film cannister which contained two grams of cannabis.

Romaine plead guilty to the charge with Ms Jensen saying Romaine smoked cannabis to keep calm.

She said he was currently an out-patient at Te Puna Waiora and suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

"He is self-medicating. He said he can get violent when he is not feeling good."

Ms Jensen told the court Romaine had known he would go through a checkpoint to enter the court but had been "particularly relaxed" that day.

Romaine was ordered to come up if called upon within six months.

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