Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of breaching order is remanded for drug possession

'An officer explained Hughes' mother attended with police just after 1.30pm on April 18, stating he had taken drugs and was outside the station in a car' (stock photo)
'An officer explained Hughes' mother attended with police just after 1.30pm on April 18, stating he had taken drugs and was outside the station in a car' (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

A 21-year-old man currently accused of breaching a Violent Offences Prevention Order (VOPO) has been remanded in custody after ending up in hospital having been found in a drug-induced stupor.

Simon Hughes from Strabane, but with a bail address given as Kilmacrennan, Co Donegal, is charged with breaching the order on January 26 by contacting a female in Dunamanagh, which was one of a number of specific conditions.

He was originally refused bail but later released by the High Court.

However, he was brought before a special sitting of Omagh Magistrates Court after being found in possession of drugs, which he claimed weren't his and were put in his clothing by police.

An officer explained Hughes' mother attended with police just after 1.30pm on April 18, stating he had taken drugs and was outside the station in a car.

Hughes was found unresponsive and rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency treatment.

While there a nurse approached police who had accompanied the ambulance, and handed over a quantity of drugs which had been found in Hughes' sock. He was spoken to and told the officer: "I didn't put that there. You must have."

A defending lawyer applied for bail, telling the court Hughes had been upset by a bereavement the previous week and accepted taking "prescription medication and alcohol".

He said his client has no recollection of any part of the incident, except waking up in hospital.

District Judge John Meehan made a number of enquiries including the progress of the VOPO breach case, when High Court bail was granted and on what terms, but the defence were unable to provide the information sought.

Refusing bail, Judge Meehan said: "I'm not being given the information I need to balance risk."

Hughes was remanded in custody to appear by video-link at Strabane Magistrates Court later this month.

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