Student used loan of £4,000 from mother to buy cocaine and cannabis, court hears
A post-graduate student used part of a £4,000 loan given to him by his mother for his student accommodation and to help purchase a car, to instead buy cocaine and cannabis, a court heard yesterday.
Londonderry Magistrates Court heard the student has enrolled for a master's degree at Queen's University in Belfast.
The defendant's mother remortgaged her home in order to obtain the loan for her son.
She was present as the 26-year-old accused, who has been granted anonymity because of the generalised threat against alleged drugs offenders, appeared in court charged with possessing, and possessing with intent to supply, cannabis and cocaine.
A PSNI officer said police on traffic duty during last Saturday's Apprentice Boys parade stopped a car being driven by the defendant on Limavady Road to advise him about traffic diversions connected to the parade.
The officers detected a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car, which also contained a front seat male passenger. He told the police he had a small amount of cannabis on him but the police witness said for some reason the passenger was not arrested.
The defendant and the car were both searched and the police found cannabis with a potential street value of up to £2,000 as well as half an ounce of cocaine along with a number of 'deal' bags.
The defendant told the police the drugs were for his personal use and that some of the cocaine had a purity level of between 50% and 60%. He said the remainder was a cutting agent.
The officer said: "After his arrest the defendant fully admitted the drugs were his and that they were both cocaine and cannabis. He said he had obtained a university degree two years ago and planned to complete a master's degree starting next month.
"He said his mother had remortgaged her house to buy him a car and to pay for his accommodation in Belfast. He said he had arranged to take possession of the drugs last Saturday from his one and only supplier.
"He said he had given his mobile phone to a friend. That phone is missing and police believe it contains evidence about the defendant and his supplier.
"The defendant said he has been abusing cannabis for the last 10 years and that he was a recreational user of cocaine.
"He said he paid £300 for the cocaine and £600 for the cannabis. The police view is that he has been selling drugs and will continue to do that, if released on bail, to fund his drugs addiction.
"If his mobile phone turned up that would change the police attitude to bail", she said.
Applying for bail, defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the defendant's mother had given him the £4,000 last month. He said the defendant had made admissions about his own addiction issues and he hoped to continue with his academic studies next month, if released on bail.
"If you want bail you come to court with clean hands. If the mobile phone turns up we could manage bail conditions," the judge told the defendant.
Bail was refused and the defendant was remanded in custody until September 5.