Drug dealing Belfast brickie McFarland avoids prison after delays in case
A west Belfast bricklayer was yesterday spared prison for drug dealing due to the delay in his case reaching court.
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told Odhran MacAinnhire that as a result of the delay and his guilty plea he was suspending an 18 month prison sentence for two years.
The judge said no real explanation had been forthcoming as to why it had taken from 2015 for the case to come to court.
MacAinnhire (28) of Lagmore Downs in Dunmurry, had pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of a quantity of cocaine and diazepam tablets.
Prosecution lawyer James Johnson said that in 2015 police went to the defendant's home in Lisburn and seized £11,000 in cash along with 56 diazepam tablets, two bags of cocaine containing almost 14 grammes, weighing scales and further drug bags.
At another address in the street, said Mr Johnston, police noticed a "strong smell" from a parked Toyota car.
A key to the car was found in the defendant's home and police recovered 2.55kg of herbal cannabis in two plastic bags from the vehicle.
The court heard that MacAinnhire's fingerprints were on both bags.
Mr Johnston said the defendant was a "trusted storeman" rather than a courier.
Defence barrister Luke Curran said MacAinnhire's reward for storing the herbal cannabis was drugs to feed his own addiction, adding that the defendant had been drug free for the past year.