Accused of possessing ‘cornucopia’ of drugs

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man accused of possessing a ‘cornucopia’ of drugs, including Ecstasy and Cocaine, has been refused bail.

Mark David Blackman, of Trafalgar Court, is accused of 11 drugs offences allegedly committed on April 7.

They include fraudulently importing a Class A drug, being concerned in the supply of Cocaine, Ecstasy and Mephedrone and possessing drugs with intent to supply.

The 34-year-old is further charged with simple possession of drugs and possessing articles for use in fraud.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that police searched the defendant’s home and found quantities of drugs, including around 1,000 ecstasy tablets.

Among the items allegedly found were three bags of white powder which police believe is a cutting agent, three bags of suspected cocaine, and three bags of mephedrone.

They also allegedly found over 500 ecstasy tablets and seized mobile phones.

It is further alleged that police discovered an envelope which had been posted from Amsterdam containing 500 more ecstasy tablets.

The court heard the Ecstasy Tablets have an estimated street value of between £5,000 to £10,000.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said the 34-year-old lives ‘somewhat of a lavish lifestyle’ and ‘appears to be a loan shark readily supplying money to people’.

She said the defendant goes on holiday quite often and police believe he had intended to go to Euro 2016.

The officer said police fear the 34-year-old will commit further offences.

She said the alleged drugs were found while Blackman was on bail awaiting sentencing for other drugs offences.

Defence solicitor, Keith Kyle, said his client claims he bought the drugs for his own use because he was ‘aware he was going to be receiving a custodial sentence’ a short time later.

He told the court Blackman’s ‘time in custody has allowed him to focus his mind and he realises if he continues to associate with drugs he is going to spend more and more time in custody’.

The solicitor added his client maintains he does not live a lavish lifestyle and is willing to surrender his passport to police.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘if he thinks for one second I believe these are for his personal use. Clearly the quantities are far, far too large for personal use’.

He added ‘this man was awaiting sentence on drug supply charges and was caught with a cornucopia of illegal and illicit substances’.

The judge refused bail because he had no confidence the defendant would abide by conditions.

Blackman was remanded in custody until July 7.