27 Sept 2022

Jailed Derry heroine and cocaine drug dealer under death threat from paramilitaries - court told

Derry courthouse
A police officer told Derry Crown Court today that a jailed drug dealer was still under a death threat issued against him by dissident republican paramilitaries two years ago. The officer made the disclosure minutes after the 31-year-old defendant, who has been granted anonymity, was jailed for three years. The accused, who had 15 previous convictions, eight of them for drugs offences, admitted 27 charges relating to possessing and supplying drugs, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, oxycodone and MDMA as well as fentanyl, Xanax, cannabis and diazepam. He admitted committing the possession and possession with intent to supply offences on various dates between December 2016 and September 2017. The court heard the charges came about as a result four different searches of properties lived in by the defendant. In the first search in December 2016, police found cocaine, fentanyl, cannabis and Xanax as well as £3,800 hidden in a freezer. He told police the cash was to buy his partner an engagement ring. The following May, police searched the same house again and found more cannabis, fentanyl, Xanax and diazepam. In a search of a third property in June 2017, police found Xanax which the defendant said he had bought in Thailand. The fourth and final search took place in September 2017 at the defendant's sheltered housing bail address where police found cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, ecstasy and fentanyl. The defendant admitted that during the search of his accommodation he had assaulted four police officers. After his arrest he alleged police had sexually assaulted him. The court heard the defendant started abusing drugs when he was aged 16 and since then he had been involved in very serious drugs abuse, including at times when he was on bail for other drugs offences. Judge Philip Babington said: "He was involved in using illegal drugs to a serious degree and he was supplying drugs such as Xanax which has been linked to a number of deaths in this city. He bought, swopped and supplied drugs to and from others." "There is no doubt he requires counselling for his addiction, as does everybody addicted to drugs, but he continued to offend while on bail and while receiving counselling." he added. After jailing the defendant for three years, Judge Babington ordered that the £3,800 found in the freezer should be shared between the charities HURT, Cruise and the Foyle Search and Rescue.

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