Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine man avoids jail after cash found under mattress

Aiden Austin was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court on Tuesday
Aiden Austin was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court on Tuesday

A Coleraine man was given a suspended sentence after being found with more than £10,000 in criminal property.

Police believe Aiden Austin (43) from Londonderry but of no fixed abode made the money through the supply of illegal drugs.

The cash was discovered during two separate police searches of his home, the first taking place when he had just started serving a one-year suspended sentence for the supply of Class B and C drugs in December 2017.

Police found the money, along with a phone, under a mattress in his home and two other phones were found inside an extractor fan.

In February 2018, police again searched the property and found another three phones and cash.

Detective Inspector Tom McClure of the PSNI's Organised Crime Unit said: “It’s my belief that the cash recovered was the result of supplying illegal drugs and in total, we seized over £10,000. This should act as a warning to those who engage in this type of activity.

“The fact that Mr Austin’s further offending was committed whilst he was serving a suspended sentence highlights his complete disregard for the law."

Appearing before Antrim Crown Court on Tuesday, Austin was handed a two-and-a-half year sentence for possession of criminal property, suspended for five years.

DI McClure said many families in the North West suffered loss as a result of illegal drugs and those involved care only about personal gain "at the expense of causing harm and misery to others".

“They do not care about the damage that they cause, preying on the most vulnerable members of their communities," he added.

He urged anyone with information regarding the supply of illegal drugs to contact police on 101.

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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