Limavady women jailed for 'commercial in nature' drug offences
Two women who have been in a relationship for a number of years were jailed yesterday at the Crown Court in Londonderry for drugs offences.
Piper McClenaghan (38) from Roe Mill Gardens in Limavady was sentenced to three years' imprisonment after she was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of possessing and possessing with intent to supply cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis.
Sonya McDaid (47), from Glenbank Walk in Limavady, was sentenced to two years after she had pleaded guilty to possessing the same drugs.
A hearing in January 2018 heard that the couple had been in a relationship for five years.
The drugs - with a potential street value of between £43,000 and £104,000, depending on the purity level - were found in the defendants' car and in their then home at Roe Mill Gardens on January 16 of last year.
The car, which was driven by McDaid, with McClenaghan as a front seat passenger, was stopped by members of a police patrol near the Caw roundabout in the Waterside area of the city.
The car was searched and in the front passenger seat foot well, where McClenaghan was sitting, a carrier bag containing five packages of cocaine, containing around 1.25kg of the drug, were found.
Following their arrest and while they were in custody, the police then searched McClenaghan's Roe Mill Gardens address where she lived with McDaid.
In an outbuilding, which was locked, the police found two shoe boxes containing more drugs and digital weighing scales.
The shoe boxes contained:
- 25 slabs of cannabis resin weighing 2.48kg,
- two wraps of cannabis resin weighing 46.88gm,
- two heat sealed packages containing 3.11kgs of amphetamine,
- a further package of 1.39kg of amphetamine,
- 206gm of cocaine in a white bag, and
- a self-seal bag containing 1.44gm of cocaine.
Forensic tests revealed McDaid's DNA on the knot of the bag containing cocaine. When interviewed, she said she had been given £1,000 to deliver the drugs for an unnamed person and she claimed that McClenaghan had no knowledge nor involvement of any of the drugs found.
During her interview with the police, McClenaghan denied all knowledge of the drugs found in the car and in her house.
Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey said clearly the jury at McClenaghan's trial did not believe her.
She said the supplying of drugs was next in descending order of gravity to importing drugs which she said were evil, destroyed lives and had a negative effect on society.
Judge McCaffrey said it was the prosecution case that both McDaid and McClenaghan were involved in drug dealing for personal gain.
"The activity of both of you was clearly commercial in nature and the equipment found in your home clearly points to the nature of the operation," she told the defendants.
"One took the lead but both of you were in this together."