Derry drug dealer jailed

Bishop Street courthouse.
Bishop Street courthouse.

A self confessed drug dealer who was caught after he left his mobile phone in his abandoned car, has been jailed for eighteen months.

Dean Beattie abandoned his car near his home in the Glenowen Estate on August 23, 2017.

Derry Crown Court heard that after he ran off local residents reported the abandoned vehicle to the police and when officers arrived at the scene they recovered 26-year-old Beattie’s mobile phone from inside the car.

This was forensically examined and police found a video recorded by Beattie of him driving the car. They also found numerous drugs related text messages offering to supply cocaine, cannabis and tramadol.

During police interview, the 26-year-old made no comment.

Beattie, who has sixty-eight previous convictions, including five convictions for drugs offences, admitted committing seven drugs offences between June and August 2017.

One of his previous convictions was for escaping from lawful custody when he climbed the security fence around the Bishop Street courthouse in December 2015 and ran off.

Jailing Beattie for eighteen months, Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey said the text messages showed that he had been supplying five or six people with cocaine and over thirty people with cannabis.

The judge said Beattie had been assessed by the P.S.N.I.’s Repeat Offender Unit as a priority offender and by the Probation Service as a high risk re-offender.

Defence barrister Sean Doherty told Judge McCaffrey that Beattie had since turned his life around following the birth of his daughter.

Mr. Doherty said that Beattie, who starting taking drugs at an early age, was, at the time of these offences, living a hedonistic and chaotic lifestyle without any aspirations.

He said Beattie started offending at the age of eleven and had spent most of his life either in care, detention or in prison.

“He accepts he has been an absolute nightmare over the last ten years, but he has now cut his ties with his former peers, has life expectations and has engaged with professional counsellors. The birth of his daughter almost two years ago was a life changing event for him”, Mr. Doherty said.

Judge McCaffrey said that Beattie, who failed a drugs test while in prison, now looked towards the future and that the birth of his daughter was a wake up call for him.

Beattie will serve half of his sentence in custody and half in the community on licence.