Anonymity order lifted as self-confessed heroin, cocaine and crystal amphetamines dealer jailed in Derry
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Prior to Friday's sentencing hearing the defendant, Robert Rogan, 38, from Crawford Court in the city, had been granted anonymity. However in court on Friday Judge Neil Rafferty K.C. lifted the anonymity order.
Rogan pleaded guilty to a total of 32 drugs offences which he committed over a four year period starting in February 2019. In jailing him, Judge Rafferty issued a warning that those who are involved in supplying drugs in Derry “will, in all but exceptional circumstances, receive significant custodial sentences”.
The court heard that initially, Rafferty was unknown to the police in relation to drugs offending but in 2020 he came to the attention of the police when he was seen staggering around city centre streets. He was searched by the police who found a quantity of a Class C drug on him.
His mobile phone was triaged and found to contain multiple drugs-related text messages and there were also Snapchat messages referring to offering to supply the drugs cocaine, heroin, crystal amphetamines, cannabis, diazepam, and xanax.
Rogan was released on bail but in 2021 he was re-arrested when the police found eleven grams of cocaine on him.
Jailing Rogan for thirty-two months Judge Rafferty said he was giving the defendant a reduction in his sentence because of his early guilty pleas.
Judge Rafferty also addressed the issue of drugs and criminal offending.
He said: "Since I became the Recorder of this city earlier this year, one of the recurrent themes has been the prevalence of drugs related offending. It is my overall assessment that there is a significant drugs problem in this city and the problem relates to Class A, B and C drugs.
"Those who are involved in supplying drugs in this city will, in all but exceptional circumstances, receive significant custodial sentences.
"There is a need for deterrent sentencing when it comes to those who supply drugs to other people and that need is an overwhelming one when there is a significant drugs problem in a specific location", Judge Rafferty added.