Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland chef 'caught red-handed with heroin worth £633k'

By Tom Tuite

A chef from Co Armagh was "caught red-handed" with €700,000 (£633,000) worth of heroin at Dublin Airport after he flew in from Spain, a court has heard.

Father-of-four Alan Maginn (40), whose address was given as Drumhillery Road, Keady, but who has been living in Malaga in Spain with his family, was denied bail after a judge held that he is a serious flight risk.

He is charged with possessing heroin for the purpose of sale or supply on July 19 this year at a car park at the airport.

Objecting to bail, Detective Garda Chris Elliot told Judge Kathryn Hutton at Cloverhill District Court that it was the State's case that Maginn was caught red-handed in a car with a controlled drug worth €700,000.

He said the accused arrived on a flight from Malaga and was due to make a return trip with Aer Lingus four hours later. Detective Elliot told the court the man had an "extensive flight history this year between Dublin and Malaga".

He agreed with the defence that the accused has offered an address in the State where he could stay if granted bail.

However, Detective Elliot learned that the property is up for sale and the defendant would have to move out once it is sold. He said the accused has resided in Spain for three and a half years and his other address is at Drumhillery Road in Keady.

He also accepted Maginn had no previous convictions or a history of bench warrants.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions but forensic reports are awaited and that will take four weeks, Detective Elliot said.

It was fairly certain that a book of evidence would be prepared and that the case would go to a different court, he continued.

He also gave evidence that it was his belief the accused was a flight risk.

Roisin Maginn travelled to Dublin for the bail hearing and the defence barrister said she intends to remain here pending her husband's trial.

The defence proposed that he could reside at the address provided and be ordered to obey a curfew. However, the detective pointed out that this would not stop the accused leaving the jurisdiction.

Mrs Maginn told the court that when she works at the restaurant her husband minds their children. He is a qualified chef and helps in their restaurant when she is at home, she said.

The defence also pointed out that Mr Maginn has surrendered his passport and argued that it would therefore be difficult for him to flee the jurisdiction. His wife would also surrender her son's passport, the barrister said.

Judge Hutton noted Mrs Maginn relies heavily on her husband, and one of their children has a condition that requires a good deal of care. However, refusing bail she found that the accused was within the ambit of the principles of the O'Callaghan Rules and he was a serious flight risk.

She remanded him in custody to appear again on a date in September.

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