Bail for ‘drug dealing’ accused

A Limavady man accused of dealing cocaine has been bailed at Derry Magistrate’s Court.

Ivan Brown (44), of Rosseden Park, appeared via video link from Maghaberry prison during a bail application yesterday.

He is accused of possessing almost 17 grams of cocaine with intent to supply the class A drug and possessing cannabis, a class B drug.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service said the case against Brown involved 17 grams of cocaine found in “a hideout” and a small amount of cocaine “of the same purity” found on his person.

Opposing bail, a PSNI officer said police had concerns that Brown would “recommence his activity in the drugs scene in Limavady”. He said the concerns arose “given his background and information received by police”.

During the application for bail, the accused’s solicitor told the court that his client had been detained for six months and that it looked likely that he would not get a trial until next summer. He said the case was about two amounts of drugs found by police - a small amount found on his client who admitted its possession for “personal use” and a larger amount found in a small tupperware-type tub outside his partner’s home. He said his client “denies all knowledge” of the larger amount, which is the subject of the intent to supply charge.

The solicitor added that during an earlier hearing it was revealed that the tupperware tub and contents had tested negative for his client’s DNA. He said that at the time fingerprint test results were outstanding and that the District Judge presiding, Barney McElholm, suggested that the bail application be revisited when the results became available. The solicitor said the finger print testing of the tub had now also been found to be “negative”. “The case against this man now has changed dramatically, clearly this is an application which is now merited.”

He added that Brown “absolutely refutes” the drug dealing allegations made against him. When asked to address the concerns of police in their opposition to the granting of bail, the solicitor said: “The applicant can only say ‘I do not know anything about that amount of drugs, I am not drug dealing’.”

He said such an allegation was not borne out by his client’s record, which amounts to previous convictions for possession of six diazepam tablets belonging to his mother, possession of class B drugs with intent to supply, for which he admitted being “essentially a courier” 10 years ago, and possession of a small amount of amphetamine 20 years ago.

Magistrate Terence Dunlop granted Brown conditional bail to reside at a relative’s home. Further conditions include the prohibition of mobile phone use, reporting three times per week at Limavady PSNI station, observing a curfew from 8pm to 7am and wearing an electronic tag.