Man jailed for death of Reynolds fined for drugs

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

A man who was charged in connection with the death of a police officer in the city has been fined for possessing drugs.

Conor Tyrone Clarence, of Churchill Road, Ballykelly, pleaded guilty to possessing amphetamine and ecstasy on May 6.

The 25-year-old was jailed for 21 months for his involvement in the death of Constable Philippa Reynolds in February 2014. He was also ordered to spend a further 21 months on licence.

Constable Reynolds was a back seat passenger in a police vehicle when a stolen 4x4 crashed into it in the Dale’s Corner area of the Waterside.

Clarence was released from prison in November last year.

The drugs offences puts the 25-year-old in breach of his licence conditions and this has been reported to the Department of Justice.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police saw Clarence in Limavady and he was ‘staggering’ in the street.

Officers arrested him for an unrelated matter and when he was placed into a police car he was seen putting a plastic bag in his mouth.

Police seized the bag and it was found to contain white powder and some pink tablets.

Three further tablets were discovered in his trouser pocket.

Defence solicitor David Brewster told the court his client spent £60 on drugs a short time before his arrest.

He said Clarence suffers from a ‘serious skin complaint’ and had asked his doctor for medication to alleviate pain. The solicitor added the 25-year-old then bought the drugs to ‘calm himself down’.

Mr Brewster said Clarence has ‘endeavoured to rebuild his life’ since his release from prison and said the death of Constable Reynolds ‘weighs heavily’ on him.

District Judge Peter King fined Clarence £500.