Prison drugs passed 'in bag of crisps'

Published Monday, 16 July 2012
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A north Belfast man accused of attempting to pass drugs to an inmate at HMP Magilligan, inside a bag of crisps, has been refused bail - despite no objections having been put forward by police.

Prison drugs passed 'in bag of crisps'
Magilligan Prison, where the alleged offence is said to have happened. (© UTV)

Jamie Riddell, 21 and from the Limestone Road, faces charges of possessing Class B and C drugs with intent to supply after allegedly being caught on CCTV trying to hand over cannabis and a form of hydrocodone.

Presiding judge Lord Justice Coghlin said: "They (police) may have perfectly good reasons for taking the view they do, but this is an extremely serious (alleged) offence.

"This is an endeavour to bring drugs into the prison system in Northern Ireland."

The circulation of drugs in prison is a major threat to the safety of both prisoners and prison officers.

Lord Justice Coghlin

It is the prosecution case that Riddell was seen taking a package from his pocket and putting it inside a bag of crisps, during a visit at the prison on 6 April.

Following his arrest, the accused was said to have made admissions to police.

Riddell's defence barrister argued that his client could be released to live with his mother, but Lord Justice Coghlin pointed to a series of reports outlining the problems of drugs being brought into UK jails.

The accused was remanded into custody.

© UTV News
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