Caught with cocaine in a nightclub toilet cubicle

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A judge warned the amount of cocaine in Northern Ireland is increasing as he sentenced a man detected in a night club toilet cubicle with the Class A drug whilst out over the Halloween period.

Adam Best (21), a joiner of Carsonville Drive in Upperlands, admitted a charge of possessing Class A drugs.

A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday the defendant was not alone in the cubicle when he was detected with £6 worth of the drug at 12.30am on October 29.

Best told police the substance was for his own use after the incident at Kelly’s in Portrush.

Defence solicitor Briege Martin said her client had been out for Halloween and was caught with a very small amount of cocaine. She said someone suggested that the defendant try the drugs and he foolishly accepted.

Ms Martin said Best was remorseful and embarrassed. The court heard the defendant had previously been given a ‘diversion’ for possessing Class B drugs and Ms Martin said in that case the drugs had belonged to someone else and Best had taken the rap.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan said the defendant was “building up a pattern of drug use” and told him that eventually the court would lose patience with him.

The judge said it may have been a small amount of cocaine but it was a “very dangerous drug”.

Fining Best £200, the judge added: “The prevalence of cocaine in Northern Ireland is growing all the time”.