Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man (23) found 'suitcase full of cannabis by the side of a road,' court hears

By Alan Erwin

A man charged with kidnapping and drugs offences claims he found a suitcase full of cannabis by the side of a road, the High Court has heard.

Nathan Willis, 23, told police he only brought the consignment back to his property until he decided what to do with it.

But refusing bail, a judge described the explanation as "absurd".

Willis, of Shore Crescent in Belfast, was allegedly involved in the reported kidnapping of a man in Newtownards, Co Down on August 23.

The court was told a number of men took part, with a replica Glock pistol said to have been used.

Searches carried out at Willis' property uncovered a similar type of fake gun, prosecution counsel said.

Police also recovered Ecstasy tablets and more than three kilos of herbal cannabis as part of the same investigation.

Willis faces charges of kidnapping, common assault, possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply.

He denies being connected to the cannabis, claiming to have come across it by chance.

It was also confirmed that the alleged kidnapping victim does not want to pursue a complaint.

Despite that development, Mr Justice Deeny held there was still a prima facie case on charges before the court.

Denying bail due to the risk of re-offending, the judge said: "The story that he found this suitcase of drugs by the side of the street and brought it home is one of the more absurd explanations it's been my duty to hear."

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