Co Down man accused of trying to import 11,000 Diazepam tablets from Hong Kong, is taking 50 pills daily, court hears
A Co Down man accused of trying to import 11,000 Diazepam tablets from Hong Kong is taking 50 pills daily, the High Court heard today.
Ronan Shields, 24, was warned by a judge that such "foolish" consumption levels were putting his life at risk.
The caution came as he was granted bail in time to attend the funeral of a friend who died from a suspected drug overdose.
Shields, of Essmore in Warrenpoint, is charged with attempting to import and being concerned in the supply of Diazepam.
He is also accused of having Ecstasy and possession of both Diazepam and cannabis with intent to supply, obstructing an electricity meter, and possessing and converting criminal property, namely £1,347 in cash.
The alleged offences cover a period between February 2014 and April this year.
It was claimed that 11,000 Diazepam tablets were intercepted after being sent from Hong Kong.
Prosecution counsel Kate McKay said the pills have an individual street value of £1 each.
According to police the sale of so-called 'blues' in the Warrenpoint area represents a particular problem, the court heard.
Although Shields was seeking full bail, his application included a request to be allowed out of custody in time to attend his friend's funeral.
According to Mrs McKay the death had been "drugs-related".
Granting bail, Mr Justice Weatherup said: "Drugs use is a curse on this country and many other countries, and people who feed that curse have to be dealt with.
"This applicant has his own problems with these drugs, it seems he's addicted to very high consumption of Diazepam.
"He says he's taking 50 tablets a day. I have no medical evidence but that seems foolish and also a threat to your health if not your very life if you're doing that regularly."
The judge ruled that Shields could be released to stay with his father in Newry.
He was banned from entering Warrenpoint, apart from on the day of the funeral.