Judge imposes address ban in drugs case
A distric judge in Londonderry has banned the media from publicising the addresses of two men who are on bail on drugs charges.
On June 13, the defendants, David Stuart Robinson (27) and Craig Inglis (23), appeared before Judge Barney McElholm jointly charged with unlawfully possessing a Class B drug, conspiring with others to supply the drug and possessing the drug with intent to supply it.
They're alleged to have committed the offences on August 1.
In court for their appearance last month, Mr McElholm requested the media not to report the defendants' addresses and in making the request he referred to the activities of paramilitary gunmen.
However, in the absence of a court order, most of the media outlets publicised the defendants' addresses.
When the case was in court on Wednesday of this week for a mention, reporters only then became aware that Mr McElholm had, in fact, imposed reporting restrictions in the case.
Mr McElholm's order, made under the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, states that: “No details pertaining to the identification of the defendant(s) address be published in any publication of any sort or released to the media.”
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the office of the Lord Chief Justice confirmed the reporting restriction.
“Reporting restrictions are a matter of judicial discretion to be decided on a case by case basis,” she said.