Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland judge in vow to stop scourge of heroin

By Alan Erwin

A deadly trade in heroin will not be allowed to develop in Northern Ireland, a senior judge has vowed.

Mr Justice Weir pledged everything possible would be done to stop the drug's spread after being told it has caused a number of recent deaths in Belfast.

He said: "We have not so far had the problem of heroin that other jurisdictions have suffered, and we are not going to have it if the courts can do anything to prevent it."

The judge was told how police have mounted an undercover operation since the start of the year targeting alleged dealers in the city.

One suspect, 44-year-old Joanne Phelan, was arrested last week and accused of arranging to sell £25 heroin wraps to officers over the phone.

She faces a total of six charges involving being concerned in the supply of and offering to supply Class A drugs, and arranging to acquire criminal property during January and February.

Phelan, of no fixed address, was granted High Court bail to live with her mother.

A night-time curfew and electronic tagging conditions were also imposed.

Belfast Telegraph

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