Diazepam ‘being sold for just £1 per tablet’

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

Black market diazepam tablets bought for as little as one pound have led to the hospitalization of a number of young people, a court has heard.

A PSNI officer made the claim as 38-year-old Martin McShane appeared at the local magistrates court.

McShane, of Dunfield Terrace, is charged with being concerned in the supply of diazepam between July 1 and August 17.

He is further charged with possessing diazepam with intent to supply and simple possession of the class C drug.

It is alleged that the 38-year-old had between 400 and 500 tablets, which were bought from the internet and have a street value of one pound per tablet.

However, during interview McShane claimed he took between 40 and 60 diazepam tablets at a time and was allowing others to use his bank account and address to order the drugs to feed his own habit.

Martin McShane, of Dunfield Terrace, faces three drug offences between July 1 and August 17. He was has been refused bail.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations that police attention was drawn to McShane’s car on Sunday afternoon and officers followed him to an address in Chamberlain Street.

When police approached McShane he allegedly dropped 100 suspected diazepam tablets out of his hand and kicked it under his car.

The 38-year-old was searched and found to have a strip of diazepam on him, along with a mobile phone and £90 in cash.

A further 270 tablets were allegedly found hidden in a sock inside his car and during a search of his home 100 suspected diazepam tablets and a laptop were seized.

Opposing bail, the officer said police found text messages relating to drugs on the 38-year-old’s phone.

She told the court that black market diazepam tablets, which have a street value of a pound per tablet, have led to a number of young people being admitted to hospital.

The officer said police do not believe McShane would abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court as he has breached court orders in the past.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said there is a ’clear prima facie case that he is involved in the supply of these counterfeit drugs’ and he had no confidence the 38-year-old would abide by conditions.

McShane will appear in court again on September 11.