Belfast Telegraph

Jail for ex-Belfast youth worker caught with £28k drugs

By John Cassidy

A former youth worker has been jailed for six months after he was caught with up to £28,000 worth of drugs.

Terence Martin Lunney (34), from Roden Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of cocaine and cannabis.

Prosecution lawyer Mark Farrell told the court that on October 7, 2016 police searched a house on the Whitewell Road in north Belfast.

During the search police recovered cocaine and cannabis in a cupboard under the sink which had a street value of between £19,000-£28,000.

Drug-related paraphernalia was also seized during the planned police raid including a cocaine press.

Mr Farrell said Lunney had 37 previous convictions but none for drug offences and prior to the search "had not been on the police's drugs radar''. 

He added that an aggravating factor was that the defendant was on licence at the time of the drugs seizure.

Defence barrister Luke Curran said Lunney had relapsed into his drug addiction following the death of his father in 2015.

Since being charged with the drug offences, Lunney had been working with the Probation Service about his drug addiction and was making "significant progress'' and had been drug free for the past eight months.

Judge Paul Ramsey QC said that if the former youth worker had been convicted after a trial, he would have been jailed three years given that he was on licence at the time.

But the judge said he was taking Lunney's guilty plea into account along with his work with the Probation Service and sentenced him to six months in custody followed by 12 months on supervised licence on his release from jail.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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