Belfast Telegraph

Drugs 'scourge' slammed as men are sentenced

A judge has said that "drugs are the scourge of society" as he passed sentence on two men involved in the possession of cannabis valued at more than £100,000.

The two, who cannot be identified as they are subject of anonymity orders, were charged with possessing the drugs on August 3 last year.

The first accused, a 31-year-old man, admitted seven counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, handling criminal property and driving offences.

The second man, a 45-year-old, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

The Londonderry court was told that on August 3 police searched the home of the 31-year-old. Two cars in the driveway were searched and €750 (£626) in cash and 5kg of cannabis found. Other drugs, totalling 9kg, were found in various places in the house.

The prosecution put the value of the drugs at around £150,000 while the defence submission was that between £80,000 to £120,000 would be closer.

Inside the house a locked safe was also found and when it was opened it was found to contain £19,000 in cash.

Mobile phones were also seized and activity on them was said to be drug-related.

The 45-year-old told police that he had received a phone call from the other man who asked him to go to Omagh to collect drugs and had been paid £150.

Recorder Judge Philip Babbington said that it was clear that the 31-year-old had not been completely candid with probation.

He said that the defendant claimed he was "warehousing" the drugs for someone else.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to three years in prison.

The other man was told that the only reason he was not getting a custodial sentence was his ill-health.

He was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years.

The cash was ordered to be distributed to a range of local charities.

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