Derry drugs accused left dangling mid-air after attempting to hide in friend’s attic

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A Derry man charged with supplying drugs has been remanded into custody after being accused of committing new offences and breaching bail.

While attempting to evade police 26-year-old Jamie McCarron fell through the ceiling.

The defendant, of no fixed abode, is charged with being concerned in the supply of drugs between July 12 and December 8, 2020.

He is further charged with attempted possession of Class C drug diazepam with intent to supply on November 11, possession with intent to supply the same drug on December 7 and obstructing police on December 8.

The defendant asked to address District Judge Barney McElholm before details of the case were outlined to the court.

McCarron told the judge he had been attacked and taken to Altnagelvin Hospital.

While waiting for treatment at the hospital he became ‘really, really paranoid’, he said.

The 26-year-old told the judge he just found out that his girlfriend is ‘100 per cent pregnant’ and he realises now is the time to ‘wise up’.

“For the first time in my life I want to change,” he added.

The defendant was told to be quiet and to allow his solicitor to speak for him.

A police officer told the court that on December 7 the PSNI attended McCarron’s bail address after a reported assault on him.

On arrival he wasn’t present and his mother informed officers that she was revoking the bail address ‘due to his involvement in drugs and trouble brought to her door’.

The house was checked in case he was hiding, an officer said, and inside his wardrobe a JD Sports bag was discovered with blood on it and yellow pills inside.

A mobile phone was also seized which his mother confirmed didn’t belong to her.

Police subsequently attended an address at Altcar Park in search of the defendant on December 8.

An officer said McCarron attempted to evade police by exiting through the back door.

Police eventually gained entry wherein the defendant was trying to climb into the attic.

The 26-year-old ‘fell through the attic’ and was dangling up to his waist, an officer said.

At Strand Road Police Station officers spoke to the accused about a mobile phone which contained an email account linked to his name and selfies of McCarron.

One message on the phone, a PSNI officer said, showed that the defendant was trying to source 1,000 tablets per week from a supplier.

During police interview McCarron denied involvement in ‘ordering a package’ and said the bag in his room was taken from his attackers.

She added that the 26-year-old admitted purchasing and selling drugs to fund his own habit but said other people were using his phone.

Police ‘strongly’ objected to bail saying the accused has 16 convictions, 14 of which are for ‘drugs and supplying’.

Bail was also objected to on grounds that his pregnant girlfriend has three other children living with her in the house making the address ‘unsuitable’.

There was a further fear of reoffending.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said it was ‘somewhat unusual’ that McCarron made admissions of low-level drugs supply to fund his own habit.

He also gave his mobile phone PIN to police ‘making their job easier’.

Bail was breached, Mr MacDermott accepted, because an address is no longer available to him.

The defence solicitor said his client was the victim of a ‘serious assault’ and ended up ‘quite seriously ill at one stage’.

The assault did not relate to drugs, he added, but involved an argument between his partner and someone else’s partner which led to ‘fisty cuffs’.

McCarron said he took a ‘relatively small amount’ of drugs from the attackers ‘but we’ll see about that’, the defence solicitor said.

Mr MacDermott told the court that his client has been on bail since April and has only breached court conditions once.

He asked the judge to afford McCarron the opportunity to live with his girlfriend who is due to have their child.

Judge McElholm said there are ‘many issues in this case, not least the issue of breaching bail by committing similar offences to those he is charged with’.

“He has clearly got a bad addiction habit.

“I’m not having someone with an addiction habit in a home with children.

“I would expect social services to step in if I didn’t.”

Revoking his original bail and refusing the bail application, the judge said there are ‘unresolved issues’ and the reason for the assault is unclear.

The defendant was told he can go to the High Court and the case was adjourned until January 7.


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