18 Aug 2022

Judge warns he will 'throw away the key' if anyone convicted of drug that is 'poisoning' Derry's youth

District Judge Barney McElholm has said that the drug Xanax "is poisoning the youth of this city" and warned he would "throw away the key" if anyone was convicting of supplying it. His comments came during a bail application by Noel Lavey (41), of Clon Elagh in Derry, who is currently on remand on a series of drug charges. He is charged with attempted possession of Xanax on 27 October 2017, being concerned in the supply of cocaine and Diazepam on 18 January last year. He also faced charges of possessing Xanax and possessing it with intent to supply on 9 October last year as well as a charge of possessing Pregablin with intent to supply on the same date. Opposing bail, a police officer told the court had breached bail on numerous occasions. Defence barrister Eoghain Devlin said that it was almost a year since the latest charge was put and that the issues behind the delay were clear. Judge McElholm said that while he was aware that the Crown Court was bound by guidelines in his opinion anyone involved in the supply of Xanax should receive a lengthy sentence. He said drugs such as Xanax and Pregablin were simply poison and they were poisoning the young people of this city and other cities. He said that Lavy was a totally unsuitable candidate for bail as he could not be trusted. He was remanded in custody to appear later this month.

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