Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of storing £70k worth of drugs and cash claims dealer threatened to hurt his family, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of storing up to £70,000 worth of drugs and cash claimed a dealer threatened to hurt his family unless he complied, the High Court has heard.

Samuel Finlay went to police days after the cocaine and cannabis was seized at a property in Ahoghill, Co Antrim last month.

Granting bail to the 22-year-old, a judge said his version of events currently appears "full of holes".

Finlay, of Beechwood Avenue in the village, faces charges of possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply.

Police discovered the haul in a hold-all during searches of an outbuilding in the area on July 21, the court was told.

A bulking agent, blender, deal bags and mobile phones were also seized, along with a suspected deal list and bags.

The drugs have an estimated street value of £30,000-£50,000, prosecution counsel David Russell disclosed.

He also revealed that £20,000 in cash was seized during the operation.

Mr Russell contended that a deal list appeared to have been written on the back of an invoice for tyres fitting Finlay's make of car.

DNA and fingerprint tests are still to be carried out on the document.

Mr Justice O'Hara was told Finlay claims he was approached by an unnamed dealer who offered him £1,000 to store drugs until September.

"He said this male threatened to stab him and hurt his family if he didn't cooperate," Mr Russell continued.

According to Finlay's account he feared violence if he didn't comply.

Defence counsel argued that his client had taken responsibility by walking into a police station and telling them about the duress he allegedly acted under.

The judge responded: "On the information I have at the moment (the story) is full of holes."

However, he ruled that Finlay should be granted bail to live with his father under curfew.

"Mr Finlay Senior has to understand it will be part of his role to exercise some control over his son," the judge stressed

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