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Doagh man who admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply jailed

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Belfast Crown Court. Photo: Liam McBurney

Belfast Crown Court. Photo: Liam McBurney

Belfast Crown Court. Photo: Liam McBurney

A 'small-scale' drug dealer who attempted to evade police and to characterise his involvement as that of a courier was sentenced to a total of two years on Friday.

Rejecting the claims of Brian Henry Johnston, Judge Patrick Kinney told the 31-year-old his involvement was that of commercial supply and that he "committed these offences with his eyes wide open to the consequence".

The Belfast Crown Court judge said Johnston sought to minimise his role, he was satisfied he knew exactly what he was doing, both in relation to "the supply of illegal drugs and his dangerous driving to evade police".

Judge Kinney added Johnston while was a small-scale commercial dealer, he was "nevertheless an essential cog in the machine which distributes drugs in our society" and that his offending called for an immediate custodial sentence.

Johnston, from Kellburn Park, Doagh, who admitted the possession of cannabis with intent to supply the Class B drug on December 14, 2019, was also banned from driving for three years for dangerous driving while trying to escape police.

In written submissions to the court, it emerged Johnston's car was spotted doing a 'U-turn' as it approached a police checkpoint. Johnston then drove off in an erratic and dangerous manner, travelling at speeds at up to 80mph along narrow roads.

During the police chase, a package, later found to contain a kilo of cannabis, was thrown from the car in which was later found £2,500 in rolled up notes in a bag on the passenger seat. In a follow-up search of his home, a quantity of diazepam tablets were recovered. A troll of his mobile also provided further evidence of drug dealing.

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Johnston, who was given credit for his guilty pleas, will serve 12 months custody followed by a similar period on supervised licensed parole.


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