Woman accused of having drugs at Limavady music festival

A mother-of-two has appeared in court accused of possessing drugs with intent to supply at a Limavady music festival.

Sarah Gates, whose address was given as Meadowlands, Downpatrick, faces a total of eight drugs offences including possessing ecstasy, LSD and diazepam with intent to supply.

The 25-year-old is further charged with simple possession of the drugs on August 17.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that Gates was stopped by security staff at the Stendhal Festival because they were suspicious about her behaviour. She was allegedly asked if she had any drugs on her and handed over a small amount of cannabis.

Police later searched her belongings and allegedly discovered 200 ecstasy tablets, 200 doses of LSD, 150 diazepam tablets and four grams of herbal cannabis.

During interview, Gates admitted it was her intention to sell the drugs at the music festival. She further admitted she had been dealing drugs in the Belfast area since February, after she got into debt.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police fear the 25-year-old would “re-engage in drug activity to recoup her losses”.

He accepted that Gates has no criminal record but told the court an analysis of her mobile phone “backs up” her admissions to police.

Defence solicitor David Brewster said his client dealt drugs “primarily amongst her own social circle” to fund her own drug use and “general living”.

District Judge Barney McElholm released Gates on her own bail of £1,000, ordered her to abide by a curfew and banned her from going to any music festivals. The 25-year-old will appear at Limavady Magistrates Court again on October 16.