Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of killing his pal with a heroin jab

A man has appeared in court accused of killing a friend by injecting him with suspected heroin in Belfast city centre.

Jeffrey Stanley (39) was asked to administer the class A drug by the 46-year-old victim, a judge was told.

Stanley, of Clarawood House, Clara Way, Belfast, is charged with the manslaughter of David McBratney, possession of heroin and possession with intent to supply.

The victim was found lying at Bains Place, close to Blackstaff Square, on Friday. He died a short time later.

A detective who said he could connect the accused to the charges opposed bail due to concerns over his address and further offending.

The court heard Stanley made certain admissions but also attempted to distance himself from the incident.

Defence solicitor Norman Shannon confirmed his client was a heroin addict who wanted to apologise to the dead man's family and express his genuine remorse.

“It has had a devastating effect on him,” the lawyer said.

Mr Shannon told Belfast Magistrates Court Stanley and the victim were good friends. It was claimed the accused refused a request from Mr McBratney to inject him with heroin in public, instead taking him to a nearby entry.

According to Stanley's account the syringe contained only a small amount of the suspected drug.

“He said the deceased then passed out and he rang an ambulance. He went for a walk around the town and came back,” Mr Shannon added.

The lawyer also pointed out that post-mortem tests were so far inconclusive, with no definitive evidence yet that his client had caused the death.

Seeking bail, he said that Stanley had been off heroin for eight months.

The court also heard Stanley, the son of a former police officer, had planned to study for a degree in musicology at Queen's University.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall adjourned the case until more details on a possible bail address could be supplied. Stanley was remanded in custody to appear again next week.

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