Belfast Telegraph

Drug dealer McShane's identity revealed as he's sentenced to 18 months in jail

A judge lifted an anonymity order in the case of a self-confessed drugs supplier after he jailed him for 18 months
A judge lifted an anonymity order in the case of a self-confessed drugs supplier after he jailed him for 18 months

By George Jackson

A judge lifted an anonymity order in the case of a self-confessed drugs supplier after he jailed him for 18 months.

The defendant, named for the first time as Frank Martin McShane (43), from Ballinska Heights in the Springtown Road area of Londonderry, admitted six charges relating to supplying and possessing Xanax and cannabis on various dates in November 2017.

At Londonderry Crown Court yesterday, Judge Philip Babington said McShane's offending was uncovered after the police seized a mobile phone belonging to another man in January of last year.

The phone contained various text messages and the police officers recognised that the last three digits in one of the text messages were the same as the last three digits of McShane's mobile phone number.

McShane was arrested when he called in to Strand Road police station in March of last year as part of his bail conditions in relation to other criminal matters.

He was interviewed and denied selling Xanax and cannabis, but in a second police interview he admitted the mobile phone seized was his.

He told the police he was supplying up to eight different people.

Judge Babington said the amount of drugs-related text messages on the mobile phone was not insignificant and indicated that McShane was trying to spread his business.

The judge said McShane had a total of 52 previous criminal convictions, 11 of which were for drugs offences.

McShane had been assessed as presenting a high likelihood of re-offending and had failed to take opportunities offered to him by the courts in the past, such as suspended sentences.

Judge Babington said: "He has an unbroken offending record since 2013, during which period nine drugs convictions took place.

"This case has clearly passed the custody threshold. Exactly how deeply he is involved in the drugs trade is difficult to know, but it is clear as far as these offences are concerned that he supplied six to eight people. How much the quantity of the drugs was is not known.

"This defendant is to be sentenced for supplying between six and eight people with cannabis and Xanax.

"Xanax has caused a number of deaths in this city. Although it is a Class B drug it appears to have unwarranted side effects."

The judge also told the defendant: "Your record is atrocious and it is getting no better. You are prepared to obtain and supply cannabis and Xanax to a group of people and you have little idea of the harm these drugs can cause to others.

"The public in this city must be protected from Xanax in particular and from drugs in general, and from people like yourself."

After McShane was jailed for 18 months, a prosecution barrister told Judge Babington that there was no current threat against his client.

The barrister said the defendant had been under threat in 2017, "but the investigating officer says there is currently no threat in respect of him, although there is a generic threat".

Judge Babington then lifted the anonymity order.

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