Man refused bail over methedrone haul

Published Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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A £50,000 haul of methedrone seized near Belfast was shipped in via a courier service from China, the High Court has heard.

Man refused bail over methedrone haul
Neill was refused bail on Tuesday. (© Getty)

Prosecutors claimed a man accused over the consignment tried to use another vulnerable suspect as a patsy to collect the parcel.

Peter Neill denies a charge of attempted possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply.

The 45-year-old, of Hazelbank Road, Coleraine, was refused bail due to the risk of re-offending.

Two kilos of a methedrone variation were sent from Shanghai using a freight service in February, the court heard on Tuesday.

The package, addressed to a vacant property in Ballymoney, was intercepted by UK Borders Agency but allowed to travel on.

It was taken to a depot in Mallusk, Newtownabbey because no-one was present to sign for it, the court heard.

A judge heard claims that Neill drove to the freight centre with another man and woman.

All three were arrested after he allegedly dropped the other man off to go in and collect the parcel.

According to prosecution lawyer Philip Henry phone calls had been made to check train times and to price a taxi fare back to Coleraine.

He claimed this was an attempt to arrange alternative transport so the other man was not in Neill's car with the drugs.

Mr Henry said that suspect has been assessed as vulnerable and "easily led".

"(He) was being used, the prosecution say, as a patsy, whereas this applicant was a controller," the barrister added.

Joe Brolly, defending, rejected claims of possible interference with the other suspect, pointing out that he is now in custody for separate matters.

Neill, a father of five, has denied knowing anything about the drugs package and stressed he has no links to the house it was to be delivered to.

He only agreed to drive the other man to Mallusk in return for being paid £30, the court heard.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Deeny held there was a prima facie case of "somebody who took advantage of the modern state of the world just to import this dangerous drug into Northern Ireland and was trying to leave a distance between himself and the drug".

© UTV News
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2 Comments
Annoyed in Angryville wrote (422 days ago):
When you see a queue outside a Belfast 'head' shop on a Wednesday lunchtime (today) - you have to ask yourself... how addictive is the product they are selling if people are queuing up in daylight for it... and why are these so called business owners allowed to deal in this misery with utmost impunity! The calls to legalise marijuana are legitimate... It is a natural herb and should be available to adults (for whatever reason) under controlled circumstances... maybe a little more strict than the supply of alcohol is currently... but decriminalised nonetheless. Yet these money grabbing ghouls are selling so-called 'legal highs' (ingredients unknown) and making massive profits from substances that are causing people to suffer from DEEP depression episodes that ARE also causing instances of suicide. The ingredients are changed each time a certain product is legislated against. This simply is NOT good enough!! And NO... we don't need Nolan or other 'sensationalist self-serving' chat show ‘goons’ to deal with it... it has to be dealt with by the lawmakers... Especially when the proprietors of these shops are thumbing their noses at the people whose lives they are destroying WHEN ARE OUR MLA'S GOING TO TACKLE THIS??
Jock in Ballycastle wrote (423 days ago):
Its spelt "mephedrone" folks unless you are talking about crystal amphetamine which I doubt.
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