Drug charge Derry man was 'chasing lost dog', court hears
A mud-covered passenger in a car containing £30,000 worth of cocaine claimed he had been out chasing his lost dog, the High Court has heard.
Ryan McGlinchey, 23, was arrested with two other men after police stopped the Vauxhall Astra between Ballykelly and Greysteel, Co Derry last week.
Officers recovered four blocks of cocaine weighing half a kilo and 133 Pregabalin prescription pills from the vehicle.
McGlinchey, of Benview Estate in Coshquin, Derry, faces charges of possessing Class A drugs and a medicinal product with intent to supply over the seizure on November 15.
He is also accused of having a small amount of cannabis found in a subsequent search at his home.
During a bail application prosecutors said when detained he been covered in mud and wearing no shoes.
McGlinchey told police his state was due to an unsuccessful pursuit of his dog through briars.
Defence counsel said: "It was a Staffordshire he previously owned which his mother made him give away because of how it was barking in the house.
"But she allowed him to attempt to retrieve the dog and bring it home."
He added: "Mr McGlinchey does have considerable apprehension about how this explanation sounds."
Describing the account as "fantastical", judge Sir Richard McLaughlin questioned why the animal was not in the car when police stopped it.
The accused's lawyer submitted: "He wasn't able to retrieve the dog, he chased it and was covered in mud."
Following the explanation Sir Richard responded: "The poor dog is now roaming the countryside, and there's certainly no posse out looking for it."
The court heard a co-defendant claims the accused had exited the car and "disappeared" for a period before returning in a mess and told to take his shoes off.
According to that man's account McGlinchey had asked to be picked up in return for £50 and a strip of Pregabalin.
McGlinchey denies knowing anything about the cocaine, but accepted that the journey was to collect the prescription tablets.
"He does have a history of addiction issues, he's addicted to Pregabalin," his barrister confirmed.
Adjourning the bail application, Sir Richard said he wanted more information on any possible drugs rehabilitation.
The judge added: "The background here appears obvious; somebody is moving stuff at the behest of somebody bigger.
"Whether the bigger person is in the car or somebody outside, there's always a bigger man until you get back to Colombia."
Belfast Telegraph Digital