A MAN drinking in a town centre booze-free area objected to police removing his can of lager.

Blackburn magistrates heard Daniel Sergeant told the officers they owed him £3.

When they discovered a pouch containing plant matter Sergeant said: “It's only cannabis.”

Sergeant, 38, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and being drunk and disorderly. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £22 victim surcharge. The magistrates took into account that he had spent a night in the cells.

Leigh Morgan, prosecuting, said officers saw Sergeant in Darwen Street, Blackburn, drinking from a can of lager.

“He was within the area of a Public Space Protection order which effectively prohibits drinking in the town centre,” said Ms Leigh.

“He became aggressive when the police took the can off him and there was a lot of shouting and swearing before he was arrested.”

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client was somewhat confused because he had simply been sitting down, minding his own business and drinking a can of lager.

“He accepts he became irate when they took his can off him,” said Mr Taylor.