‘Bad batch’ of drugs linked to four deaths in Derry

A court has heard that there have been four deaths in Derry in the last month potentially linked to a ‘bad batch of drugs’.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:34 am
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

An investigating officer said one of those was the former partner of 26-year-old Dillon Jordan Quigley, who is charged with a series of drug supply offences.

Quigley, of Clon Dara, is accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, cannabis, pregabalin and diazepam and making an offer to supply drugs. He is further charged with possessing class A, B and C drugs with intent to supply and simple possession of drugs.

The offences were allegedly committed between December 4, 2020 and June 27, this year.

Opposing an application for bail, the officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court that Quigley is currently on bail for two other sets of drugs charges.

He said the 26-year-old had breached bail on four occasions this month and police do not believe there are any conditions the defendant will abide by.

The officer added that bench warrants had been issued for Quigley in the past and claimed he poses a high likelihood of further offences.

“More worrying, in the last month we have now had four possible drug overdoses. One of these was the defendant’s ex-partner,” the officer told the court.

He added that police were in receipt of messages which allegedly show Quigley was ‘actively supplying her long before her death’.

The officer told the court police believe there is a severe risk to the public, ‘particularly when what appears to be a bad batch of drugs appears to be circulating, which the defendant could be concerned in the supply of’.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client has admitted supplying drugs ‘at a low level in order to feed his own habit’.

He said the death of Quigley’s ex-partner ‘shocked him to the core’ and he is desperate to address his long standing addiction issues, which ‘have been the cause of all the problems in his life’.

The defendant’s solicitor, Mr MacDermott, told the court: “Clearly, a bad batch of drugs has caused the deaths of four people so far.

“That is a very, very serious situation and he [Quigley] realises it could have just as easily have been him.”

However, the investigating officer claimed the alleged offences before the court were committed days after the woman’s death and the defendant had ‘just continued with his behaviour.”

He also said that Quigley was arrested last month for an alleged drug offence and he allegedly told police “I told you I was going to stop taking them. I didn’t say I would stop selling them.”

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay said the bad batch of drugs in circulation carries a risk of death to the defendant and others and refused the application for bail.

The judge sentenced Quigley for a separate matter of possessing a class B drug on May 22, this year. Judge McStay jailed the defendant for one month.

The 26-year-old will appear in court again via videolink next month.