Former nurse jailed for having designer drugs”

A former auxiliary nurse who admitted supplying “designer drugs” to friends has received a sentence of 15 months.

Craig Young, whose address was given on court papers as Clarendon Avenue, Belfast, pleaded guilty to possessing 4-MEC, a class B drug, with intent to supply on February 3, last year.

He also admitted possessing diazepam with intent to supply on the same date.

The 27-year-old was also found in possession of further class B drugs while he was on bail for the first set of drugs offences on April 23, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard that police searched Young’s Waterside home in February last year and he immediately admitted he was in possession of cannabis.

Officers uncovered almost 400 diazepam tablets during the search and a large envelope of white powder stored inside a yellow bin liner.

This was later discovered to be 4-MEC, a designer drug similar to amphetamine.

The 27-year-old was also found to be in possession of over £2,500 in cash and police seized two cars belonging to him during the course of their investigation.

During interview, Young claimed he had bought the diazepam for £100 and bought the 180 grams of 4-MEC for £400. He initially claimed this was for personal use but later admitted buying it to sell to “associates” to fund his own habit.

The court heard that Young was released on bail and police searched his home a second time. He was found to be in possession of less than half a gram of the designer drug.

The total value of the drugs found by police during both searches was approximately £1476.

Jailing the 27-year-old, Judge Piers Grant said it was “clear this is a substantial quantity of drugs”.

He added that because Young previously worked as an auxiliary nurse he “must have clear knowledge of the damage drugs do to people”.

Judge Grant said custodial sentences must be imposed in cases where people possess drugs with intent to supply because “this court and the community understand much of the offending that occurs in this area is as a result of taking drugs”.

Young received a determinate 15 month sentence, half of which will be spent in custody with the remaining half on licence.