Anonymity order ends for convicted dealer

Published Monday, 03 March 2014
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A District Judge in Londonderry has granted a police application not to extend an anonymity order in the case of a convicted drugs dealer, who was shot in the legs by paramilitary gunmen four years ago.

Anonymity order ends for convicted dealer
The PSNI objected to the anonymity order being extended. (© Pacemaker)

Barney McElholm said he was refusing to extend the order, which expired on Monday, in the interests of public justice and transparency.

The 55-year-old, who applied to have the order extended, can now be named for the first time.

He is Raymond Coyle from Fountain Hill in the Waterside area of the city. He was shot in June 2010 in his Waterloo Street shop close to the city centre.

In March 2012, the same shop was searched by the police under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The police sent 29 items from the shop for forensic examination and one was found to be a small quantity of the Class B drug mephedrone.

Last month, Coyle was fined £1,000 when he was convicted of possessing and possessing with intent to supply the drug.

A member of the PSNI's proactive case team told Mr McElholm at the city's Magistrate's Court that the police opposed the anonymity order being extended.

He said the drug involved was commonly known as a so-called legal high.

The officer said, in reality, the drug was "a psycho-active substance sometimes known as Pikey Dust" which normally came in the form of bath salt.

"It is the PSNI's wish to publish this type of conviction as it will inspire public confidence and re-assure the public in any concerns in relation to our on-going operations against illegal substances," he said.

"It will also instill public confidence in our open and transparent judicial system. In our operations in relation to illegal substances, we would welcome any support from the public in relation to this particular substance and to that end I have been working closely with the Department of Health", he said.

Solicitor Paddy McDaid, for Coyle, said the applicant was shot in the legs four years ago and he believed there was still a threat against his life.

In refusing the application, Mr McElholm said there was a groundswell of public opposition against such illegal substances which he said were of a particular danger to young people.

"It is important that the public are re-assured that the PSNI are tackling this problem in this city and further afield", he said and he added that the public "have a right to know and members of the media can now fully report this case."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Name and Shame in Bangor wrote (328 days ago):
Agree wholeheartedly Martin in Carrick. Couldn't have put it better myself.
Martin in Carrick wrote (329 days ago):
All drug dealers should be named and shamed, although I doubt the latter would apply. They don't deserve anonymity all they deserve is a very long prison sentence. these people destroy our communities with their poison, it's not just the drugs it's what people do to get money to pay for them. lock them up and throw away the key.
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