Drug accused back before same judge years after jumping bail
A man who fled to Spain in 2011 after he was granted bail at Londonderry's Magistrates' Court on drugs charges appeared before the same magistrate yesterday following his extradition.
Thomas Anthony McDonald (31), whose address was given as Oakdale House, Edencourt, Derry, is now a "pillar of society in Spain"and founded "a multimillion-pound internet business with 20 employees", his solicitor said.
Solicitor Brian Stelfox said the company was currently for sale and was expected to fetch "a substantial price". He said that if the defendant was in custody, the business would collapse.
He said McDonald fled eight years ago because of an IRA death threat against him.
But District Judge Barney McElholm said: "He comes in here arrogantly, expecting to be let loose again.
"This man stayed away for eight years. He can forget about talking about death threats, because those threats are long since gone."
McDonald was remanded in custody for two weeks, pending a High Court bail application.