39-year-old man sold drugs in local car park

A 39-year-old man who was caught dealing drugs in the car park of a local retail park has been jailed for 15 months.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:33 pm

Kieran Hartop, who can be named for the first time after an anonymity order was removed, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis between November 2018 and May 2019.

Hartop, of The Meadows, also admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.

Derry Crown Court heard members of the public made police aware of a man possibly dealing drugs from a red BMW in the car park of Faustina Retail Park on the Buncrana Road.

Officers spoke to Hartop, who claimed he was waiting for his wife while she went shopping.

The police noted a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car and Hartop admitted there was a substantial amount of the class B drug in the vehicle and a large amount of money in his pocket.

The car was searched and two Kilner jars, each containing five deal bags of cannabis were seized, along with £1,280.

Hartop’s home was also searched and 30 further bags containing cannabis were found in a shed, along with scales, clear plastic bags and £500 in cash.

Police also found £6,495 in the defendant’s bedroom, however evidence was produced to show this was to pay for a family holiday.

During police interview, Hartop claimed he had only been dealing drugs for two weeks and would meet people in the car park to supply them.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said this was ‘very serious offending’ which was aggravated by the ‘very blatant drug dealing in a public car park’.

“It is also clear that this defendant appears to have made a lot of money from drug dealing and there is evidence of a lifestyle completely incompatible with his legal income.”

The judge jailed Hartop for 15 months, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.