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Court plea to keep addresses of drugs charge pair secret

A judge has made an unprecedented request to court reporters not to publish the addresses of two Londonderry men before him charged with drugs offences.

Barney McElholm's comment is understood to be related to shootings carried out by the vigilante paramilitary group Republican Action Against Drugs.

In the past five years RAAD has claimed responsibility for shooting 40 people, alleging they were involved in drugs related offences.

In February RAAD gunmen shot dead Andrew Allen (24) in his rented bome at Links View, Lisfannon, near Buncrana in Donegal.

Mr Allen was forced to leave Derry after a death threat from RAAD shortly before his murder.

His family denied he was involved in drugs-related offences.

In court yesterday Craig Inglis (24) and David Robinson (28) both with addresses in the Waterside area of the city appeared charged with drugs offences.

The defendant Inglis confirmed in open court before members of the public what his address was.

David Robinson then confirmed, in open court, his address.

They are jointly charged with unlawfully importing the Class B drug methadone, conspiring with others with intent to supply it and possessing it with intent to supply.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on August 1 of last year.

The defendants were then released on their own bail of £400 to appear in court again on July 18.

As part of their bail conditions they must not contact each other.

As the defendants were about to leave the District Judge made his request to reporters in court in front of members of the public.

Mr McElholm said while he had no powers to enforce his request, he added: “I am asking the Press not to publish their addresses because I do not think those paramilitary thugs out there should have any more help than they already have”.

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Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) is a vigilante group active mainly in Londonderry and the surrounding area. It targets those whom it claims are drug dealers. The group's methods include punishment shootings, pipe bomb or arson attacks on property and warning, threatening or banishing alleged dealers. It has claimed responsibility for shooting dead one man.

Belfast Telegraph