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A north Belfast man who stored high-purity cocaine in his boilerhouse for "experienced criminals" was handed a 14-month sentence yesterday

A north Belfast man who stored high-purity cocaine in his boilerhouse for "experienced criminals" was handed a 14-month sentence yesterday

A north Belfast man who stored high-purity cocaine in his boilerhouse for "experienced criminals" was handed a 14-month sentence yesterday

A north Belfast man who stored high-purity cocaine in his boilerhouse for "experienced criminals" was handed a 14-month sentence yesterday.

John Dennis McIlroy, from Shanlieve Park in Belfast, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a video-link from his solicitor's office.

After imposing the 14-month sentence - divided equally between custody and licence - Judge Stephen Fowler QC told the 52-year-old he had to surrender himself to custody at Laganside Court on Friday morning.

During sentencing, Crown prosecutor Rosemary Walsh said cannabis and cocaine were located during a search of McIlroy's home on July 22 last year.

Officers located a small quantity of cocaine and small amounts of cannabis in the property, and when an outside boilerhouse was searched, 740 grams of cocaine with an 86% purity was located, along with four kilos of cannabis.

Following his arrest for drugs offences, McIlroy told police he was a heavy cannabis user but refused to answer questions about the cocaine.

He later admitted that he sold small amounts of cannabis to friends, and made the case he was asked to store the cocaine for a two-week period, but that his house wad raided a week into that period.

Defence barrister Stephen Toal said his client had "abused drugs for a long time" but that he was now drug-free.

He also revealed McIlroy raised his daughter as a single parent and was a man trying to live a good life but one who "very unfortunately stored these drugs for experienced criminals."

As he sentenced McIlroy for offences including possession of cocaine with intent to supply, Judge Fowler noted McIlroy's lack of criminal record, remorse and the steps he has taken to tackle his addiction to cannabis.

Belfast Telegraph