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Woman accused of being part of illegal plot to supply prescription drugs in Northern Ireland granted bail

By Alan Erwin

Published 17/04/2015

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A woman accused of being part of an illegal plot to supply prescription drugs into Northern Ireland has been granted bail.

Kelly Clarke, 45, was arrested after police seized a large quantity of diazepam tablets in north Belfast.

Three men were also detained following searches carried out on Thursday at locations in the city and Stoke-On-Trent in England.

Clarke, of Ardoyne Road in Belfast, appeared before the city's Magistrates Court today charged with conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.

She also faces a second count of being concerned in the supply of diazepam between August 1, 2014 and April 16 this year.

Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch carried out the searches with assistance from Staffordshire Police.

Opposing Clarke's bail application, one of the officers involved in the investigation claimed there was a risk of re-offending.

But defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that his client was a carer for two children with no previous drugs convictions.

The barrister contended that it would be "intolerable" for the accused to be kept in custody for months while phone analysis is carried out as part of the investigation.

Granting bail, District Judge McElholm banned Clarke from using mobile phones or contact any co-accused.

She is due back in court in four weeks time.

Meanwhile police are continuing to question others arrested in the operation.

One of them, a 22-year-old man, was returned to Northern Ireland from England where a large quantity of cash and other items were seized.

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