Belfast Telegraph

Drugs suspects 'tried to flee from police' across field with 'brick-shaped object'

By Paul Higgins

AN alleged cocaine dealer fled on foot across a field with a “brick-shaped object” and hid in a bush after police stopped his car, a court heard on Saturday.

Craigavon men Dean Smith and Thomas Nicholl were both remanded into custody accused of having around a kilo of “very pure” cocaine.  Smith (31) did not apply for bail at Lisburn Magistrates Court but his friend and co-accused Nicholl had his bail bid refused after cops said they believed the pair “played an integral role in an organised crime gang.”

Warehouse worker Smith, from Gilpin Park and unemployed Nicholl, from Knightsbridge, were each charged with four counts of supplying cocaine, possessing cocaine and having the class A drug on November 24.

Both are accused of possessing cannabis while Smith alone is accused of possessing it with intent to supply.

Smith is also accused of possessing cannabis with intent to supply on the same date.

A detective constable said officers stopped Smith’s Vauxhall Vectra car in Gracefield Lodge in Dollingstown but having grabbed a “brick-shaped object” from the footwell, he ran across a field towards undergrowth.

Nicholl, who appeared in the dock with his right arm in a sling, stumbled and fell, breaking his wrist. The officer said a police dog first uncovered the cocaine and then Smith who was hiding in a bush.

A small “deal bag” of herbal cannabis was uncovered in Nicholl’s possession and a similar bag was found on the dashboard of Smith’s car, the court heard. The officer said the cocaine was wrapped in clingfilm, inside a plastic bag within a tied sock. He said police believed it had a street value of around £50,000.

During interviews both Smith and Nicholl denied any knowledge of the cocaine, claiming they had gone to Newtownabbey to buy cannabis and had ran from cops “in a panic.” A defence solicitor said he had received firm instructions from Smith that “he alone was the only person aware of the existence” of the drugs and that “Mr Nicholl played absolutely no part in this whatsoever.”

They will appear in court again on December 16.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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