Man claimed he found drugs in city’s walls

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A man who was found in possession of 171 ecstasy tablets claimed he found them”hidden in the city’s walls”, a court has heard.

Daniel Gerald Doherty, of Liscannor Park, pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of cannabis - a class B drug - with intent to supply on November 5, 2011.

The 42-year-old admitted further charges of criminal damage and assault on police.

Derry Crown Court heard that police saw Doherty outside a local primary school in the early hours of the morning. They were concerned about metal thefts in the area and approached the 42-year-old.

However, he declined to give his name and officers searched him after smelling cannabis.

During the course of the search four small bags containing ecstasy were found.

Further bags containing cannabis were also discovered along with £170 in cash.

The court was told that in total, Doherty was in possession of 171 ecstasy tablets and over 91 grams of cannabis, which he claimed were “his own stuff”.

During police interview, the 42-year-old claimed he had found the ecstasy tablets hidden inside a hole in the city’s walls.

However, he admitted he intended to sell them and the cannabis.

He told police “I took a chance to make money”.

Defence counsel Joe Brolly told the court that when his client was made redundant in 2005 he “descended into a very serious addiction to both alcohol and drugs”.

He added that his client is a carer for his parents, who are elderly, frail and have a number of health problems.

Ordering Doherty to spend two years on probation, Judge Philip Babington said he accepted the 42-year-old was “selling drugs to fund his own addiction”.

He told the court “not without hesitation, but after much consideration, I intend to deal with this defendant in a way to give him a chance to avoid custody and rehabilitate himself”.

Judge Babington said this was “not an easy option and if he fails he is likely to be sent to prison for a lengthy period”.

Doherty was also fined a total of £300 for the assault on police and criminal damage charges.