A Waterside man who was informed of “a threat against his life” last week has been jailed for 18 months for possessing drugs with intent to supply.
Emmett Seamus Kelly, of 12 Tamneymore Park, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and obstructing police on January 24, last year.
Derry Crown Court heard the 22-year-old’s car was searched by police, after it was stopped at a checkpoint on the Clooney Road, Ballykelly.
Officers noticed the smell of cannabis in the car and during the search found a “large bag” of herbal cannabis.
Kelly intially gave police false details, however later admitted his true identity.
The large bag which was found contained 248 grams of cannabis, with a street value of around £2,500.
During a further search of the car, officers found a smaller bag of the class B drug containing over one gram.
The court heard that Kelly’s phone was seized and text messages were found which showed he was dealing in drugs.
Defence counsel Ivor McAteer told the court police had told his client of a threat on his life last week.
He added: “A local man was shot dead in Donegal last week. It is very unfortunate timing for this young man, because of the nature of the offence he has pleaded guilty to a threat was made against his life.”
Mr McAteer said Kelly had been living and working in Jersey in the recent past and this was now in “jeopardy” because of the conviction.
The barrister urged the court to take an “exceptional view of the case” and give the 22-year-old a chance as the offence was “out of character.”
He said that his client “doesn’t have the life of a drug dealer” and claimed Kelly “was not doing it for profit.”
Passing sentence, Judge Piers Grant said he was satisfied the 22-year-old was dealing in drugs for money and was “not an insignificant dealer.”
The judge told Kelly: “Those who supply drugs will face an inevitable custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offending conduct and to deter others.”
The 22-year-old received a sentence of 18 months, nine months of which will spent in custody with a further nine months on licence.