Court told man had dangerous ecstasy tablets in his possession

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A man who appeared before Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on foot of charges of supplying illegal drugs, was granted anonymity by order of District Judge, Barney McElholm.

The court heard that the man, who cannot be named because of the order, allegedly had what were referred to as dangerous ecstasy tablets in his possession and these had caused people in England to be treated in hospital after they had ingested them.

The District Judge was told that the tablets were allegedly three times the strength of regular ecstasy tablets.

The 25-year-old defendant faces a total of 15 drugs offences, including charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

District Judge McElholm granted an anonymity order after the defendant’s details were read out in court and references to his background were made. He was told that while there was no specific threat against the accused, there was, however, a general threat against him.

Granting the order, District Judge McElholm said: “There is a generalised threat from those well known moral guardians, the dissident republican movement, and that has to be taken seriously.

“I am not prepared to give these people one iota of assistance.”

The District Judge did not ask the press to make any submissions before granting the anonymity order.

By way of evidence, the magistrates’ court heard allegations that police searched the man’s home under the Misuse of Drugs Act. During the search it is alleged police found cannabis, digital scales, deal bags and a mobile phone.

They also searched the defendant’s bedroom and there they allegedly discovered drugs with a value of £1,600. The court heard that police officers also allegedly found three one-gramme bags of cocaine, a bag of crushed up ecstasy tablets and a bag of unknown white tablets during the search and a small amount of cash and deal bags were also alleged to have been discovered in his room.

In his flat mate’s room officers allegedly found a further £1,100 in cash, which the defendant later admitted was his.

The court heard allegations that the 25-year-old’s phone was examined and text messages indicated he was involved in drug supply.

He admitted supplying cannabis to a circle of friends to fund his own habit, but denied supplying class A drugs and also claimed to police that the money seized was made through online gambling.

The man was released on his own bail of £2,000 and ordered to surrender his passport.

As part of his release, he is banned from consuming non-prescribed drugs and from using a mobile phone.

He will appear in court again at a later date.