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Drugs accused 'had missing Madeleine McCann's face on porn images'

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Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

PA

Madeleine McCann

A man stopped and searched for alleged drugs offences had indecent images on his mobile phone of a child which were made to look like Madeleine McCann, a court has heard.

Patrick Bernard Tracey, from the Top Of The Hill area of the Waterside in Londonderry, appeared before the city's magistrates court, sitting in Omagh, yesterday. He is charged with possessing an indecent image of a child and with possessing an extremely pornographic image of a child on April 27.

He is also charged that between September 1, 2016, and last Friday he was concerned in supplying cocaine and MDMA; possessing the drugs with intent to supply; offering to supply the drugs; and offering to sup ply cannabis and ketamine.

Objecting to bail, a police officer told District Judge Paul Copeland that when the defendant was stopped on suspicion of committing drugs offences on Friday, his mobile phone was seized and forensically examined, and the house at Chapel Road in the Waterside where he was arrested was searched.

Inside the house the police found cocaine and a deal bag containing the other Class A drug, MDMA, the court heard.

The police witness said that last October an associate of the defendant had his mobile phone seized and triaged as part of an ongoing drugs investigation and a series of message exchanges were found on that phone linked to the defendant's mobile.

When the defendant was arrested on Friday for the alleged drugs offences, his mobile phone was also triaged. On it police found drug-related messages in relation to supplying drugs to a friend, but they also found the indecent images.

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When the district judge asked the police witness if the defendant had any direct or indirect contact with the person whose indecent images were allegedly on the defendant's mobile phone, the officer replied: "No your worship, they are of Madeleine McCann. We believe the images were made to look like Madeleine McCann and it is not believed they were repeat offences."

Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 while on a family holiday at Praia da Luz on the Portuguese Algarve.

Opposing bail the police officer said he based his opposition on his belief that the defendant would re-offend and interfere with the ongoing investigation.

He said in relation to the drugs charges that the defendant had made some admissions and that he consumed half an ounce of cocaine any time he attended a party.

The district judge said that while every defendant had the presumption of innocence, he believed that given the accused's immersion in the drugs trade he was not a suitable candidate for bail. The defendant was remanded in custody for a video link hearing on September 13.


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