Strabane man took non-prescribed drugs at Altnagelvin Hospital

Bishop Street courthouse.
Bishop Street courthouse.

Staff at Altnagelvin Hospital became suspicious of a man they believed to be handling drugs in a toilet in the reception area and contacted police, a court has been told.

Tiernan Gallen, of Main Street, Strabane, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and diazepam on January 5. He also admitted causing damage to an electronic tag on May 19.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to the hospital by staff.

Officers approached 20-year-old Gallen and could see blue residue on his lips.

He admitted consuming tablets and when a search was conducted a quantity of blue pills and one white tablet were seized.

A further search revealed a packet of blue tablets hidden in his sock.

The court heard Gallen was arrested for a second time in May for unrelated matters and a breach of bail.

He claimed his electronic tag, which was no longer on his ankle, must have fallen off when police were chasing him.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said his client had been in custody ‘for some time’.

Gallen was jailed for three months.