Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of supplying heroin in Belfast must remain in custody, court rules

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of supplying heroin in Belfast must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

William Bothwell was refused fresh bail amid claims he defied a ban on entering the city centre to steal a 61-year-old woman's purse.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said he had no confidence the 26-year-old would comply with further release conditions.

Bothwell, with a previous address at Springfield Road in Belfast, was originally arrested as part of a covert police surveillance operation targeting suspected heroin dealers.

Prosecution counsel Conor Maguire said officers observed suspected drugs transactions on Donegall Place, the Lagan Towpath and at the Europa Bus Centre on dates earlier this year.

Forensic analysis of the substances seized confirmed the presence of heroin, the court heard.

Bothwell faces charges of supplying and being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug between December 2016 and April 2017.

At a previous hearing his lawyer argued there is no evidence of any link to a major gang of dealers.

Bothwell had been granted bail last month, with an exclusion zone imposed on him entering Belfast city centre.

But he was detained again on August 1 following his alleged involvement in stealing a purse from a woman getting off a train at Great Victoria Street rail station.

Mr Maguire said CCTV footage captured two men carrying out the snatch.

Bothwell has been charged with theft and five counts of fraud by false representation over the use of a bank card from the victim's purse.

Denying his renewed application for bail, Sir Declan cited the risk of further offences.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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