‘Old codger’ jailed for 40 months for drugs offences


A man caught with drugs valued at more than £100,000 described himself as ‘a trusting silly old codger’- a description rejected by a judge.

William Duncan (59) from Moore Street in Derry pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and amphetamines with intent to supply on February 25 last year.

He also admitted concealing criminal property namely £3,400 in cash.

The court heard police searched a house in Moore Street and found three batches of cannabis weighing in total 4 kgs.

They also found bags of compressed powder, amphetamines, weighing 3 kgs.

The total value of the drugs was set at between £110,000 and £150,000.

While the search was being conducted Duncan and another man arrived at the address and both were arrested.

While he was being booked in at the police station Duncan told police he wasn’t involved in supplying drugs he just held them for someone else.

At interview Duncan named two men but neither has been charged, and said he was under threat from them.

The court heard that Duncan has convictions in the Isle of Man and a drugs conviction in 2010 in France for which he received a three year jail sentence.

Judge Philip Babington said Duncan was originally from Scotland but in recent times had been based in Derry and Donegal.

The judge said it was ‘difficult’ to understand how Duncan became caught up in this but added that his description of himself as ‘a trusting silly old codger does not ring true to me.’

He added that in his reports Duncan had shown ‘a lack of regard for the impact illegal drugs had on people and communities.’

The judge continued: “This is a very serious offence involving a significant amount of illegal drugs.

“It is quite clear the defendant was, willingly or unwillingly, a party of a drugs gang.

“This offending is such that it can only attract an immediate custodial sentence.”

He jailed Duncan for 40 months.