Judge defers drug dealers sentence until June

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

Deferring the sentencing of a man who admitted supplying drugs, Derry Crown Court Judge Philip Babington has said he was doing so ‘against my better judgement’.

The judge deferred the sentencing of the 25-year-old until later this year, to allow the defendant to continue addiction treatment.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and nine charges of offering to supply the class B drug.

All the offences were committed between July and August 2013.

The court heard that police were looking for the defendant in relation to other matters and they saw his girlfriend go into a property in the city.

Officers entered the house a short time later and found a deal bag containing suspected herbal cannabis.

A search was conducted although the 25-year-old was not present in the house.

Police discovered further bags of cannabis, empty deal bags, latex gloves, a grinder and scales.

Four mobile phones were also seized.

The court was told all the cannabis found had a approximate street value of £150.

The defendant was seen elsewhere by police, however he made off and attended the police station voluntarily a couple of days later.

During interview, the man admitted taking drugs and said he had been doing so for the last three years.

He denied supplying the cannabis and said he used the scales to ensure he wasn’t getting ripped off and the bags to separate the drugs so he ‘knew his limit for the week’.

However, the court was told messages offering to supply cannabis were found on his phone after it was examined.

Deferring the sentence, Judge Babington said he had studied these text messages and it is clear the 25-year-old was ‘involved in the drugs trade’. He added that it wass the police view the defendant was making some money out of this, although it was accepted there were ‘no visible signs of wealth’.

The judge said the 25-year-old had sought help from Northlands Addiction Treatment Centre and was continuing to attend. He said this ‘has to weigh heavily on the decision I have to come to’. The judge adjourned sentencing until June. He said he would give the defendant ‘an opportunity against my better judgement’. However, Judge Babington warned the 25-year-old if he came to any further adverse attention ‘you will go to prison’.