Motorcyclist 'thought £60,000 cocaine was car part'
A motorcyclist stopped with up to £60,000 worth of cocaine allegedly believed he was delivering a car part, the High Court heard today.
Jason Jackson told police he unwittingly agreed to collect the package in order to pay off a debt to a suspected drug dealer.
The 42-year-old, of Riverbank in Dunmurry, Co Antrim, is charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply following the seizure last month.
He was granted bail but banned from having any contact with the man he named as getting him to make the delivery.
Police stopped and arrested Jackson on a motorbike at a location near Lisburn on October 21.
One kilo of suspected cocaine, with an estimated street value of £40,000-£60,000, was discovered sealed inside a rucksack he was carrying, the court heard.
Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said Jackson made no comment to initial questioning, telling officers he was in fear for his life.
But during further interviews he provided a statement claiming to be addicted to cocaine and cannabis and in debt to the man he named.
The accused said: "He told me to collect a package for him, as far as I knew it was a car part."
Claiming to be unaware the parcel contained drugs, he said he had been told his debt would be cleared if he delivered the contents.
Police have been unable to locate the man named in the statement, the court was told.
Defence counsel Tom McCreanor rejected claims that Jackson could hinder the investigation if released from custody.
"It's not often that the alleged mule goes out and interferes with the supplier," he contended.
Ruling on the application, Mr Justice Colton said he was impressed when a suspected courier identifies someone "higher up the chain".
He ordered Jackson to abide by a curfew, electronic monitoring and banned him from having a mobile phone. ends