Former addict sentenced on drugs charges

A former cocaine addict whose close friend died beside him as they took cocaine and alcohol over a weekend has been sentenced for drugs offences.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 10:10 am
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

Stephen Jones, 37, from Sackville Court, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and being concerned in offering to supply the drug in November, 2015.

Derry Crown Court heard Jones made a 999 call to request an ambulance for his friend after he was found unresponsive during the weekend of drug taking in a flat at Duddy’s Court. When the ambulance arrived, the man was found to be dead and Jones said they had been drinking and taking cocaine all weekend.

The court was told there was no suggestion Jones was responsible for the death of his friend.

Small bags of cocaine were seized from behind picture frames in the living room.

Police also found three bags of cocaine with a value of between £2,000 and £3,000 under the kitchen sink.

The defendant’s phone was seized and it was found to contain a ‘dealers list’ relating to ten names. Jones was also found to have £1,600 of cash in his possession.

Defence barrister Stephen Mooney said his client had been ‘absolutely devastated’ by the death of his close friend.

“It was a tragic example of how people who take these drugs either end up in prison or end up dead,” the barrister said, adding:

“He knows it could so easily have been his body found and that he will live with that for the rest of his life.”

Judge Philip Babington imposed an Enhanced Combination Order of 60 hours community service and two years probation. He also ordered that the £1,600 found on Jones should be shared equally between four local charities.