Belfast Telegraph

Drug dealer who was shot in leg at his Londonderry home by masked gang avoids jail

A self-confessed drug dealer who was shot in the leg in his Londonderry home days after he pleaded guilty to drugs offences has been sentenced to an enhanced combination order. (stock photo)
A self-confessed drug dealer who was shot in the leg in his Londonderry home days after he pleaded guilty to drugs offences has been sentenced to an enhanced combination order. (stock photo)

By George Jackson

A self-confessed drug dealer who was shot in the leg in his Londonderry home days after he pleaded guilty to drugs offences has been sentenced to an enhanced combination order.

Emmet Smith (25), from Mimosa Court, was shot in the leg by one of three masked individuals who forced their way into his home on September 30.

As the result of the gunshot wound, which he sustained to his right leg, Smith has continuing mobility issues.

Smith had pleaded guilty at Londonderry Crown Court to being concerned in supplying both cocaine and cannabis and to possessing the drugs along with the drug diazepam.

He committed the offences on various dates between September 2016 and February of this year when quantities of the drugs were found at his then address in Lower Nassau Street.

Judge Philip Babington said Smith's offending was discovered when mobile phones belonging to other suspected drugs dealers were seized by the police in an ongoing drugs investigation in May, June and October of last year.

Police found on the mobile phones details of Smith's offers to supply drugs and similar messages were found on a tablet seized by the police during their investigations.

As a result of the information on the mobile phones and tablet, the police searched Smith's then Lower Nassau Street address.

Following the discovery he was arrested and taken to Strand Road Police Station.

In his initial interview with the police officers, Smith denied the offences but in his second interview 20 minutes later he admitted the drugs offences.

Yesterday at the Crown Court, Judge Babington said by his admissions Smith had saved both time and money in terms of a potential trial.

Smith told the police he was dealing in drugs in order to pay for his own drug addiction.

He said he never kept the drugs in his home, rather he hid them in a nearby field.

Judge Babington said while the defence described Smith as a low level drugs dealer who did not live an extravagant lifestyle, he still contributed to what Judge Babington described as "the vicious circle of drugs in this city".

Smith, who has been assessed as being a high likely re-offender, told the police that he had a £2,000 drugs debt, but told his probation officer that it was a £5,000 drugs debt.

Judge Babington said while the offending had passed the custody threshold, he took into consideration Smith's full admissions and the fact that he'd already spent three months in custody on the charges.

He said with some reluctance he was imposing an Enhanced Combination Order, the terms of which mean Smith will be on probation for three years and will have to complete 100 hours of community service.

Judge Babington said that the order was a strict enforcement regime and warned Smith that if he breached any of the order's terms, he would be brought back to court and in all likelihood sent straight to prison.

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