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Ex-cop accused of dealing ecstasy was 'entrapment victim'

By Alan Erwin

Published 12/04/2016

Race is being prosecuted over claims he had the drugs on him when stopped in the Botanic area of Belfast in July 2013
Race is being prosecuted over claims he had the drugs on him when stopped in the Botanic area of Belfast in July 2013

A former policeman accused of involvement in dealing ecstasy claims he is a victim of entrapment, a court has heard.

Counsel for Sean Paul Race disclosed his defence to the allegations as he was ordered to stand trial charged with having 100 of the Class A tablets with intent to supply.

Race is being prosecuted over claims he had the drugs on him when stopped in the Botanic area of Belfast in July 2013.

He was an off-duty PSNI officer at the time of the incident, but has since left the force and set up a charity fundraising business in the Republic.

He returned to Northern Ireland last month to face a court summons over the alleged offences.

The accused, with an address in Comber, Co Down, denies charges of having ecstasy and a small amount of cannabis.

At a previous hearing, it was claimed searches recovered 100 pills in a money bag in his trouser pocket.

In a later statement he claimed to have been approached by a known drug dealer who then threw something in a hedge and fled on recognising him as a police officer.

According to his account he retrieved the discarded item before heading to a meeting.

Race served in the PSNI for nearly a decade before leaving Northern Ireland in early 2014 and moving to live in the Dublin area. He was said to have worked for Unicef for a year before being involved in setting up a charity fundraising company employing around 15 people.

He appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday for a preliminary enquiry hearing.

Defence counsel did not contest prosecution submissions that there is a prima facie case to answer.

Race declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage in proceedings. Granting a prosecution application, District Judge Fiona Bagnall returned him for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

She agreed to release him on continuing bail to live at an address in Co Londonderry.

Seeking certification for two defence barristers at trial, Race's lawyer told the court: "The Crown case is he was a serving police officer who was drug dealing and was caught in the act of doing that.

"His case is this was one of entrapment."

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