Man sentenced for ‘warehousing’ two kilos of drugs

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
0
Have your say

A man who was shot in a so-called punishment shooting has received a suspended sentence for a drugs offence.

Connor Casey, of Lisfannon Park, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

The charge relates to a search of the 31-year-old’s home on January 11, 2013.

Derry Crown Court heard police searched the Lisfannon Park address acting on intelligence.

A box was found on the top shelf of a cupboard and it contained 13 blocks of cannabis resin.

The total weight of the drugs found was two kilograms and the prosecution claimed these would have a street value of £11,000.

A mobile phone and cash was also seized during the search.

During police interview, Casey said he had been asked to look after the drugs for one day. However, he had them for a few days when police arrived.

He refused to say who gave him the drugs and told police he did not receive anything for looking after them.

It was accepted by the prosecution that the 31-year-old was ‘warehousing’ the drugs.

The court also heard that Casey has a clear criminal record and had never come to the attention of police for drugs or any other kind of offending.

Defence counsel David Heraghty told the court ‘certain individuals already sat as judge and jury in this case’ and his client was the victim of a so-called punishment shooting.

He said this had a ‘marked impression’ on Casey.

The barrister said the 31-year-old butcher is ‘deeply sorry and remorseful’ for getting involved in this.

Two references were handed into the court on behalf of Casey, including one from SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey.

The court heard these references spoke ‘very highly’ of the 31-year-old and highlighted that the offences were ‘completely out of character’.

The defence also disputed the value of the drugs found, stating that the value would be closer to £5,000.

Suspending a nine month sentence for two years, Judge Philip Babington said Casey’s refusal to tell police who gave him the drugs was ‘not helpful’.

However, the judge added: “What later happened to you perhaps underlines why you did that.”

He said there was some doubt ‘over whether these people were actually trying to punish you for being involved in drugs or for losing the drugs’.

The judge said the amount of drugs was ‘not insubstantial’ but it was clear Casey ‘knows the evil of drugs and was never involved in drug taking’.

Judge Babington also ordered the destruction of the drugs and mobile phone seized by police.