24-year-old accused of drugs offences

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A 24-year-old man has appeared in court accused of possessing cannabis with a street value of between £10,000 and £20,000.

Stephen Farren, of Foreglen Road, Claudy, is charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis between November 12, 2014 and December 2, this year.

He is further charged with possession of cannabis with intent to supply and simple possession of the class B drug.

Farren is also accused of possessing cocaine on December 2.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

The court heard allegations that a car was stopped in Limavady in January 2015 and police seized 252 grams of cannabis.

The packaging on the drugs was sent for examination and it is alleged this identified Farren and four other people.

The court heard police searched the 24-year-old’s home address earlier this week.

It is alleged they found a kilogram of cannabis in a wardrobe and a set of digital scales in a locked cash box.

The cannabis was said to have a street value of between £10,000 and £20,000.

Farren returned to the property and police conducted a search of his van. They allegedly seized a small bag of white powder and two mobile phones.

The court heard claims that an examination of the phones indicate the 24-year-old has been involved in the supply of drugs since November 2014.

During police interview, Farren admitted involvement in the supply of drugs but claimed he was ‘under duress’ because of a gambling debt.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police fear the defendant will commit further offences.

He told the court police suspect Farren is ‘heavily involved’ in drug supply and drugs have a ‘severe impact on the lives of those who consume them’.

The officer added: ‘Police must be seen to take a pro-active approach to get drug dealers off the streets and protect the public’.

Defence solicitor Louise McShane told the court her client has no relevant criminal record and has ‘no intention of re-offending’.

She said Farren is in full time employment and would abide by all bail conditions imposed by the court.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted bail with ‘some hesitation’ and warned the 24-year-old if he breached the conditions he would be remanded in custody.

Farren was released on his own bail of £1,000, ordered to abide by a curfew and wear an electronic tag.

He will appear in court again on December 31.