Judge may grant anonymity in drugs cases

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A District Judge has said he will consider granting anonymity orders in drugs cases.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment during an appearance by 41-year-old Daniel Gerald Doherty at Derry Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Doherty, of Liscannor Park, is charged with possession of Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply on November 5 last year.

He is further charged with simple possession of the drugs and criminal damage on the same date.

Defence solicitor Kevin Casey applied for the defendant’s address not to be published. However Mr McElholm said the difficulty with the application was that it was already “public knowledge” because of previous court appearances.

He said in future if an application was made at a very early stage with such cases he would “be considering granting anonymity orders” for the defendants.

The judge told Mr Casey the decision whether to print the defendant’s address was “entirely up to the press”. However Mr McElholm added: “I would have thought anybody acting responsibly wouldn’t want to help sinister elements in any fashion”.

Doherty was released on continuing bail and will appear at the Crown Court for arraignment on August 29.