A convicted republican terrorist, who was within two weeks of completing a 12-year sentence for explosives and firearms offences when he was caught trying to smuggle drugs into a prison, has been jailed for 16 months at the Crown Court in Londonderry.
Turloch Robert McAllister (42) from St Patrick’s Park in Cullyhanna, Co Armagh, was returning to Magilligan Prison in Co Derry after a period of home leave in preparation for his release.
Prison staff became suspicious about his behaviour and when he was searched a package fell onto the floor. A second package was found between his buttocks.
The packets contained almost 27 grams of the Class B drugs Methoxetamine and Alpha PVP2 and three Zolpidem tablets.
McAllister told prison staff and police officers that the drugs were for his own use.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle the drugs into the prison on September 18, 2014. The drugs had a street value of £500 and a prison value of up to £2,500.
A defence barrister told Judge Gemma Loughran that McAllister started abusing drugs as his release date approached.
“His father was a local councillor who died in September 2013 after a serious illness and the defendant missed the regular visits from his father.
“He also missed the phone calls from his father who lost his voice because of his terminal illness. His father died when he was in jail.”
The barrister said that since his release McAllister had worked with several community organisations and was no longer drugs dependent.
He had also obtained a HGV licence and was a lorry driver.
“He is now on the straight and narrow, he is in a good relationship with his partner and he has obtained good employment.”
But Judge Loughran said deterrent sentences had to be imposed on people caught conveying drugs into prisons.