Belfast Telegraph

£300k drug haul accused 'skint' after trips abroad

By Alan Erwin

A mechanic from Liverpool charged over a £300,000 cannabis seizure in Co Antrim is "skint" after a series of exotic holidays, he told the High Court.

As James Kennedy was granted bail, he claimed he has nothing left from the £16,000 sale of his car three months ago.

Fingerprint evidence allegedly links the 25-year-old to the drugs haul found in a lorry stopped on the Moorfields Road in Ballymena last May.

Kennedy, of Adelaide Road in Liverpool, was arrested earlier this month as he flew into Manchester Airport from Barcelona.

A judge was told the accused, who earns £300 a week, had been on other trips to Dubai, the Bahamas, Turkey and Spain.

Mr Justice Burgess questioned whether he still had any money to put towards a cash surety.

The accused, appearing by prison video-link, replied: "I really have no money left, I'm skint. I have £62 left in my bank account sir, and that's all."

Kennedy faces charges of unlawfully supplying herbal cannabis and being concerned in its supply.

Prosecutors claimed he was forensically linked to a fingerprint on the outside of the box containing 15kg of the drug.

Defence counsel Jonathan Browne insisted Kennedy's fingerprints were not found on any of the packages inside the box.

Mr Browne added that the accused would regularly handle boxes during the course of his work as a motor mechanic.

Recognising that the prosecution case centres on a print on outer packaging, Mr Justice Burgess decided to grant bail.

Belfast Telegraph

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