25-years-old ‘supplied drugs to anyone who came to him’

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who was ‘prepared to supply drugs to anyone who came to him’ has received a 15 month sentence.

David Watters, of Church Brae, Altnagelvin, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.

The offences were committed between September 1, 2015, and July 15, 2016.

Derry Crown Court heard that police, acting on intelligence they had received, searched the 25-years-old’s home under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Watters was not initially present in the property but arrived during the search.

It was revealed there were no drugs seized during the search but that police did discover what they believed to be a ‘dealers list’.

Police also seized the defendant’s mobile phone and £200 in cash.

The court heard an initial examination of the phone indicated that Watters was involved in drug supply.

He was interviewed by police and gave no comment.

The phone was sent for a full examination and this showed Watters had been in touch with 24 different customers and the majority of messages related to the supply of cannabis.

The defendant was interviewed for a second time in March 2017.

He admitted he was among a group of friends who decided to buy drugs in bulk.

Watters also accepted that this had escalated and he began supplying more people.

The defendant admitted he had purchased cocaine for friends on four different occasions.

The 25-years-old was supplying drugs on a frequent basis and had three or four different suppliers that he could obtain drugs from.

The court heard Watters has a clear record, came from a ‘respectable family’ and had a good work record.

He was said to be apologetic for his behaviour and ‘realises the embarrassment he has caused to his family’.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said the 25-years-old had ‘probably supplied drugs to anyone who had his details’.

He added: “It is clear he was prepared to supply anyone who came to him, friends and others, and had little consideration of the harm that drugs can do to the end user. Drugs have turned this defendant into a dealer himself.”

The judge said drug dealing was ‘dangerous not only for the dealer, but also to those whom the product is supplied.”

Watters received a 15 month sentence. Half of this will be spent in custody and half in the community on licence.

The judge also granted a destruction order for the items seized by police.

In relation to the cash seized, Judge Babington ordered that this should be forfeited and donated to Foyle Search and Rescue.