Sold drugs when made redundant

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A man who admitted supplying cannabis has had a six month jail term suspended for 18 months.

John McCloskey, of Ballyarnett Road, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis, offering to supply the class B drug and possessing it with intent to supply.

The 24-year-old also admitted simple possession of cannabis and mephedrone.

The offences were committed between October 1, 2011 and January 30, 2012.

Derry Crown Court heard a neighbour reported McCloskey to police and officers searched his home.

The found just over 62 grams of cannabis, with a street value of around £620. Police also discovered a small amount of mephedrone, approximately 290mg.

McCloskey’s phone was also seized and an analysis of this showed a number of messages relating to drugs.

During police interview, the 24-year-old accepted supplying drugs for cash. He claimed he bought them in bulk and supplied them to friends. Any profit he made was used to buy drugs for himself.

It was accepted by the prosecution that McCloskey was ‘not on the police radar’ in respect of drug supply and has not come to their attention since.

Defence counsel Mark Reel said before this offence the nature of his client’s life was that of a ‘hard working young man’.

‘The only stain in his life was that he was himself a drug user’ the barrister added.

The court was told that McCloskey got involved with selling drugs at a time when he had been made redundant and things were tight financially.

However, Mr Reel said since his arrest the 24-year-old expectant father has taken himself entirely out of the drug scene and no longer uses drugs.

He said that McCloskey has also found work in Dublin and is saving to set up a home with his partner.

Passing sentence, Judge Phillip Babington said ‘one cannot be failed to be impressed by the way you have dealt with this matter. You realised you have done wrong, pulled yourself together, gone out and worked and have a good future ahead of you’.

However, the judge said the offences admitted by McCloskey were serious.

He suspended the six month jail term and ordered the 24-year-old to pay a £200 fine.