Drugs accused has to surrender visa

A Derry man charged with drug offences has been forced to submit his Australian visa as part of his bail conditions.

Twenty year-old Jamie Anthony Doherty of Glenside Gardens, faces two charges of being concerned in the supply of drugs (class A and B) between September 8 and October 12, 2012.

He appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

District Judge Barney McElholm heard that police investigating the importation of mephadrone from China seized and examined a large quanitity of information on a mobile phone. Some of it referred to packages from China.

This led to police searching the defendant’s mother’s home on March 12. However police were informed he had travelled to Australia.

A mobile PSNI patrol then identified Doherty on May 1 in the city centre and he was arrested. During interview, the defendant confirmed he was known as ‘Nit’, the name mentioned in the texts. However he denied sending them.

His solicitor Dermot Walker said: “These messages are written in text speak and are open to interpretation.”

Addressing PSNI objections to bail, Mr. Walker said: “My client had ample opportunity to stay in Australia and avoid these charges but he came home to face them. He is not a flight risk.”

Judge McElholm told Doherty: “You have a strong prima facie case to answer, there is a strong circumstantial case against him.”

Ordering Doherty not to possess or use a mobile phone or other device with internet access, Judge McElholm, also ordered him to surrender both his passport and his Australian visa.

Doherty will reappear before the Magistrate on May 30.