A Boys' Brigade officer charged in connection with the biggest ever cocaine seizure in Northern Ireland has received a death threat in jail, the High Court has heard.
Lawyers for Terence Telford (38) also claimed he only agreed to collect a package containing £5 million worth of the class A drugs to get back £200 he was owed.
Telford, from Wolfhill Road, Belfast, was told the parcel he was to pick up on Saturday merely contained money, according to his defence.
However, police were said to have recovered 22 kilos of cocaine when they detained him near the Boucher Road in south Belfast.
Telford and lorry driver Terence Bean (62), formerly of Sparrow Street, Oldham, but now living in Malaga, Spain, each face charges of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, conspiracy to supply, possession and possession with intent to supply. A third suspect, Michael Reeves (28) of Carrick Hill, Belfast, is accused of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Both Telford and Reeves were refused High Court bail due to the potential risk of further offences being committed. Bean remains in custody.
A barrister for Telford told the court he runs a vehicle recovery business which for years had a contract with police dealing with cars burnt out during the Troubles.
Philip Magee SC said his client was arrested “30 seconds” after he picked up the box from Bean.
“When police stopped him he said he knew it must be ‘that bloody parcel',” the lawyer said.
The court heard Telford had been phoned unexpectedly by Reeves, who owed him £200 for a car he fixed, and asked him to collect a cash package as a favour. He was allegedly informed he would get the money he was owed plus an extra £200 for the hassle.
Mr Magee told of Telford's involvement with the Boys' Brigade in Glengormley, Co Antrim. Character references were submitted by his church minister and BB captain. The barrister further disclosed that the accused informed him before going into court of threats made against him since he was taken into custody.
“He instructs me one of these threats emanated this morning of a threat to his life,” Mr Magee said.