Suspended jail term for drug offence

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A Waterside man who received a suspended jail term for possessing drugs with intent to supply has been told he is “remarkably lucky” not to be going to prison.

Derry Crown Court Judge Piers Grant made the comment to Ryan Charles Doherty as he suspended a 12 month jail term for two years.

Doherty, of Florence Street, pleaded guilty to possessing the class B drug with intent to supply and simple possession of ecstasy on April 10, last year.

The court heard the 21-year-old came to police attention after an incident in Shipquay Street.

Officers later searched Doherty’s home and found over 80 grams of herbal cannabis, enough to make around 420 joints.

During the search, police also discovered nine ecstasy tablets, scales and plastic bags.

The 21-year-old was interviewed about the drugs and claimed they were for his own personal use.

He then admitted he would “supply small amounts of the cannabis to acquaintances” to feed his own habit.

Defence counsel Gordon Talbot said Doherty is not a “completely lost cause” and has been drug free for the last six months.

He added that the 21-year-old supplied the drugs on a “non-profit basis” among friends.

Passing sentence, Judge Piers Grant said while he was prepared to accept Doherty was dealing in small amounts, by doing that the 21-year-old was “bringing others into contact with drugs.”