Drug accused granted anonymity by court

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man accused of drug supply charges has been granted anonymity.

The man, who cannot be named because of the order, allegedly had ‘dangerous ecstasy tablets’ in his possession which has caused people in England to be hospitalised after taking them.

They are allegedly three times the strength of normal ecstasy tablets.

The 25-year-old faces a total of 15 drugs offences including being concerned in the supply of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted the anonymity order after the defendants details were read out in court and references to his background were made.

There is no specific threat against the man, however the court heard there is a ‘general threat’.

Judge McElholm said ‘there is a generalised threat from those well known moral guardians, the dissident republican movement and that has to be taken seriously’.

He added: ‘I am not prepared to give these people one iota of assistance’.

The judge did not ask the press to make any submissions before granting the anonymity order.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations that police searched the man’s home under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

During the search it is alleged police found cannabis, digital scales, deal bags and a mobile phone.

They also searched the defendants bedroom and allegedly discovered drugs with a value of £1,600.

Officers allegedly found three one gram bags of cocaine, a bag of crushed up ecstasy tablets and a bag of unknown white tablets.

It is further alleged a small amount of cash and deal bags were also discovered in his room.

In his flat mates room officers allegedly found £1,100 in cash, which the defendant later admitted was his.

The court heard allegations the 25-year-old’s phone was examined and text messages indicate he is involved in drug supply.

He admitted supplying cannabis to a circle of friends to fund his own habit, but denied supplying class A drugs.

The man also told police that the money seized was made through online gambling.

The 25-year-old was released on his own bail of £2,000 and ordered to surrender his passport. He is banned from consuming non-prescribed drugs and from using a mobile phone.

He will appear in court again at a later date.