Drugs couple avoid prison

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

A Derry couple who admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs during the Radio 1’s One Big Weekend last year have received suspended jail sentences.

Declan Wade, (29), of High Park and 25-year-old Paula Marie Gillespie, of Cecilia’s Walk, pleaded guilty to possessing ecstasy with intent to supply on May 23, last year.

Gillespie also admitted three charges of being concerned in the supply of drugs and Wade admitted possessing cocaine, cannabis and diazepam.

Derry Crown Court heard the charges relating to being concerned in the supply of drugs came from text messages.

Police searched Gillespie’s address and she told them there were tablets in the kitchen cupboard.

They found a plastic bag with tablets in it, white powder as well as a quantity of cannabis in different parts of the house.

Phones owned by the defendants were seized and examined and a series of text messages were found on Gillespie’s phone relating to drug activity.

Among the texts were references to ‘yellow rock stars’ and other slang terms for drugs.

There were references among the messages as to how Gillespie was going to smuggle the drugs into the One Big Weekend which was on that day.

The court heard that Wade took responsibility for possessing the drugs and initially claimed they were for personal use.

Passing sentence, Judge Phillip Babington said that it was clear that Wade was obtaining the drugs and Gillespie was contacting people about their availability.

He accepted that the pair were going to supply drugs to a close circle of friends and both posed a low risk of re-offending.

Judge Babington said Wade was associating with the ‘wrong people’ at the time.

He said it was clear the couple intended to take ecstasy during the One Big Weekend event. The judge accepted the couple would not be supplying drugs to 16-year-olds at the event, but the fact that they would take it in the presence of such young people ‘showed no concern for others’.

Judge Babington said the fact that the couple had a child together and had spent almost a week in custody may have led them to see the stupidity of their actions.

The judge said it was not in the public interest to send Wade and Gillespie to prison.

He sentenced them both to nine months jail suspended for three years.