A MAN found in possession of 13 Xanax tablets said he did not realise the drug was illegal.

Sean Foley, aged 41 and of King Street, Weymouth, admitted to possession of a class C controlled substance at Weymouth Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Elizabeth Valera prosecuting told the court Foley had been arrested in relation to the theft of several bottles of vodka.

However, when police conducted a routine search they noticed Foley was clutching some tablets in his right hand before he shoved one in his mouth.

As they continued their search they found various packets hidden "throughout his body and between his buttocks."

In total they found 13 Xanax pills.

Simon Lacey, mitigating said Foley had been fully compliant with police and the pills were intended for his own use.

He said Foley had been a former heroin user but had managed to be clean for several years.

After the breakdown of a relation, Foley had recently relapsed but was actively seeking support from Reach and other rehabilitation services.

The court heard Foley had bought the Xanax to help with anxiety and depression following his relapse.

Mr Lacey said Foley had been prescribed Xanax in Ireland and did not know the drug was illegal in England.

Foley was given a 12 month conditional discharge and magistrates ordered that the Xanax tablets be destroyed.