07 Aug 2022

Derry court hears fire broke out home of local woman while she was under the influence of Xanax

A Derry woman has been remanded into custody for taking drugs after emergency services dealt with a fire at her home at the weekend. Elaine Bradley, 46, of Altcar Park appeared at Derry Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with breaching bail and being in possession of class C drug Xanax. A police officer objected to bail on grounds that she would commit further offences. He said the defendant is a danger to other people as there was a fire in her terraced property while she was under the influence of Xanax. At 2.40am on November 2 police attended the defendant’s address at Altcar park after a neighbour reported that Bradley’s house was on fire. On arrival the 46-year-old was observed as being ‘extremely intoxicated’, ‘unable to speak’ and her ‘eyes were rolling’. When asked if she had consumed any drugs she responded, ‘yes, Xanax’. The police officer told the court that Bradley was on bail for taking the same drug and she was therefore arrested for a breach of bail. While at Strand Road Police Station an officer noticed a package concealed in the top of her trousers which was discovered to be Xanax. Bradley was still deemed unfit for interview 24 hours later and was conveyed to court on Saturday morning for the breach of bail hearing. The court heard that Bradley has a ‘serious drug problem’ and there was a fire in her terraced house which means she is ‘now a danger to other people’. He added that no additional conditions would alleviate his concerns. A defence solicitor said it was his client’s first breach in relation to ‘these proceedings’ and acknowledged that she has a ‘lengthy history of drug problems’. She has lived at the Altcar Park address for 25 years and this is the first time an incident of this nature, involving the emergency services, has occurred, he explained. The defendant has a ‘deeply entrenched’ drug problem and has been working with addiction services to address it for many years. Bradley had taken ‘positive’ steps but the ‘sudden and tragic’ death of her son eleven months ago has been an ‘exceptionally hard burden’ and she has since spent time in a mental health hospital. The defence solicitor described the breach as an ‘isolated incident’, albeit one of a ‘dramatic nature’ which brought her to the attention of police. He asked District Judge John Meehan to readmit his client to bail so that she can attend a memorial service for her son in three weeks’ time. The 46-year-old is a woman who is ‘struggling’ at present, the court heard, and she would receive better assistance in the community rather than in prison. Judge Meehan refused bail as the risk to others was deemed ‘too great’. Bradley will appear before Derry Magistrates Court again today, November 5.

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