Judge overturns drug dealer’s anonymity order

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

A man who admitted offering to supply cannabis has been jailed for ten months.

Conor McSheffrey can be named for the first time after a judge overturned an anonymity order.

Derry Crown Court had heard evidence there was no specific threat towards the 24-year-old, however the generalised threat to those involved with drugs was ‘moderate to high’.

Dismissing the anonymity order, Judge Philip Babington said that cases where there is a specific threat against a defendant ‘are the cases where orders for anonymity should be granted’.

He added cases where there is only a generalised threat do not ‘warrant such orders’.

McSheffrey, of Glendale Road, pleaded guilty to a total of nine drugs offences including being concerned in an offer to supply class B and simple possession of class B and class C drugs.

The offences were committed between February 1 and February 21, 2013.

The court heard that the 24-year-old came to police attention as a result of an ongoing investigation in England.

Police obtained a warrant and searched McSheffrey’s home.

The discovered two bags of cannabis, weighing 3.5 grams, and three bags of a white crystallized substance.

This was examined and found to be class C drugs BZP and TFMPP.

The court was told these substances mimic the effects of ecstasy.

During police interview, McSheffrey admitted the cannabis was his and that he would supply drugs to friends.

However, he said he didn’t sell drugs for profit and had no knowledge of the white crystal substances.

The 24-year-old’s mobile phone was examined and a ‘litany of messages’ relating to the availability of drugs were discovered.

They included messages about the availability of drugs and references to price and weights. It was revealed numerous messages were sent to 32 different people.

The court heard police believed McSheffrey was ‘heavily involved in the supply of cannabis’.

Defence counsel David Heraghty said his client has stopped smoking cannabis and has moved away from the peer group who were involved with drugs.

Jailing the 24-year-old, Judge Babington said he ‘cleary knew what you were doing, knew the risks of getting caught and there has to be a deterrent in place to stop this’.