Bail refused in alleged £15,000 drugs run to Dungannon

A Cookstown man arrested in relation to a large drugs and cash find in Dungannon was £9,000 in debt, a court has heard.

Saturday, 5th November 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:01 pm
Dungannon Courthouse

Conor Jackson, 24, of Tulnacross Road, was denied bail after appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court via video link from HMP Maghaberry on Wednesday.

Outlining PSNI objections to bail, a detective constable told the court how the defendant was arrested on October 24th after police watching a nearby residence noted a car driven by Jackson acting suspiciously in the Lambfields area of Dungannon.

An estimated two kilograms of cannabis, wrapped in plastic, worth an estimated £15,000 was found in the back seat, and £5,000 and 3,100 in Euro was located in the glove compartment.

Jackson and two others are jointly charged with possessing and intending to supply cannabis, as well as concealing criminal property.

The defendant is further charged with driving whilst disqualified and without insurance.

The constable said that they opposed bail because they believed that Jackson’s financial difficulties could lead him to commit further offences. He had claimed under interview to be in debt to persons who said they would pay him £500 for a delivery. The officer stated that he is in debt to the tune of £9,000.

He also said that Jackson may be held responsible for the loss of the “merchandise” by those who had employed him to conduct the drugs run and this could lead him to commit further offences.

He said that he had proven that he was unwilling to adhere to the law by being a disqualified driver - a charge he admitted under interview.

When asked by a solicitor for the defence if Jackson had co-operated with police following his arrest, the detective constable said that he had not identified those who had asked him to conduct the run and had “given an account that he was effectively the person used to move this product”.

“This is a young man who has never been in custody,” Jackson’s solicitor told the court.

“He has a record but it is mostly driving offences and certainly nothing of this type of seriousness.

“He has been candid with police... and I would submit that there is no evidence before the court to suggest that he will commit further offences.”

Denying bail and remanding the defendant to custody until November 23rd, District Judge John Meehan said, “He is a man who, for £500, was ready to engage in a drugs run.

“There was talk about ‘slabs of drugs’ in the car.

“There are darker elements involved who he does not name.

“The risk of him deciding... that he still needs to earn money is too great and I am not prepared to afford him bail.”