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Court told that a Derry man has admitted having a drug habit which is costing him £1,400 a month

Defendant released on bail with a final warning

Derry man jailed for assault on mother and father

Derry courthouse.

A Derry man who admitted to having a £1,400 a month drug habit has been granted bail after appearing on a new drug charge.

Gerald Lavy, 35, of Clon Elagh, has been charged with possessing Class C drug pregabalin on October 24.

He also appeared for breaches of crown court and magistrates court bail conditions in relation to three other cases which are all drug related.

A police officer said a bail check was carried out last Saturday, October 24, when officers noticed heroin paraphernalia.

They gained entry when the defendant was not present and seized drug paraphernalia including fentanyl, according to the officer.

PSNI officers returned to the address around 8.20pm and he was initially arrested for possession of a Class A fentanyl patch – he was released unconditionally for that alleged offence.

There were signs Lavy was under the influence of drugs, the police officer told the court.

He was ‘extremely drowsy’, he said, and fell asleep while speaking to police officers.

It was deemed unsafe to carry out a preliminary breath test and Lavy was conveyed to Strand Road Police Station.

An ‘intimate search’ led to negative results.

The court heard the 35-year-old was seen rummaging around in his trousers and three tablets were discovered under the mattress in his cell.

When interviewed, he said the tablets did not belong to him and were there when he arrived.

Objecting to bail, the police officer said the defendant has 93 previous convictions, is subject to suspended sentences and there is a ‘high risk he will continue to abuse drugs and reoffend’.

He added that Lavy admits to having a £1,400 a month drug habit.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant could well breach bail again as he seems to have ‘severe addiction difficulties’.

Bail was revoked at the defendant’s request and he remained in custody throughout the summer until he was granted High Court bail on October 5.

Defence barrister Sean Doherty said the mother of Lavy’s two children died six weeks ago and he is liaising with social services to establish contact with them.

He has sought referral to Woodlea House and police are allowed to examine his medical notes.

Judge McElholm said he was not going to revoke bail today.

“I do that in the full knowledge that this man is an addict. If it’s costing £1,400 a month that raises another spectre.”

The defendant was given a final warning that if he breaches bail he will be remanded into custody.

Lavy will appear at court again on November 13.

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