Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone man Taylor accused of giving drugs to girlfriend has cash surety reduced by court

By Alan Erwin

A Co Tyrone man accused of bringing drugs to his teenage girlfriend before she died must provide a financial guarantee to get out of custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Matthew Taylor's lawyers claimed a previously imposed £1,000 cash surety condition left him facing an insurmountable task to secure bail.

Rejecting submissions that the sum should be cut to just £100, Mr Justice Burgess instead ordered proof of £750 before any release from prison.

Taylor (25), of Meelmore Drive in Omagh, was charged with possessing and supplying Class A, B and C drugs following the death of 19-year-old Emma Doogan.

Ms Doogan's body was discovered at a flat in the town in August last year.

The court heard she had been in an on-off relationship with Taylor, and that they had been in each other's company before she died.

Prosecution counsel David McClean said a witness claimed the accused arrived with several bags of drugs before reaching the deceased three or four ecstasy tablets.

Following his arrest Taylor admitted purchasing pills for Ms Doogan.

He also claimed to have earlier saw her take vodka, Valium and diazepam tablets, the court was told.

During the hearing it was stressed that Taylor is not charged with any offences relating to Ms Doogan's actual death.

Mr McClean said an investigation into the circumstances revealed she had suffered a seizure.

At a previous hearing, defence lawyers argued that any drugs allegedly obtained by Taylor were explicitly not given to Ms Doogan.

Instead he reached them to the witness because of concerns about her condition, it was claimed.

Although Taylor has remained in custody since last August, he was granted bail in December on condition that he provide a financial surety.

Unable to meet that requirement, his legal team applied to have that condition reduced.

Barrister Desmond Fahy submitted: "The cash sum at present is insurmountable."

Referring to a suggested figure of £100, he added: "That's what I'm told is achievable."

Mr Justice Burgess agreed to a partial reduction, but confirmed: "For the moment I make the amendment to take it to £750.

"It doesn't require to be cash."

Belfast Telegraph

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