Mother and her son among five facing drugs plot trial
A mother and son are among five people ordered to stand trial over a plot to import a large quantity of prescription drugs into Northern Ireland.
Kelly Clarke (46) and her 22-year-old son Liam were charged in connection with the seizure of approximately 30,000 diazepam tablets in Belfast.
They appeared at the city's Magistrates Court yesterday alongside three other men allegedly linked to the posting of drug consignments from England.
Police investigating the suspected plot made a series of arrests at locations in Belfast and Stoke-On-Trent in April last year.
Detectives from the PSNI's organised crime branch carried out the searches with assistance from Staffordshire Police.
Kelly and Liam Clarke, both of Ardoyne Road in Belfast; Paul McClafferty (34), from Queen's Parade in the city; Ali Shah (23), of Hughes Street in Stoke, and 23-year-old Dulanj Wijemanne, from Chester Street in Manchester, all face charges of conspiracy to supply class C drugs and other drugs-related offences linked to the same investigation.
During a preliminary enquiry hearing defence lawyers did not contest the prosecution's submissions that all five had a case to answer.
The defendants said nothing in response to the charges and declined to call witnesses or give evidence at this stage.