Dungannon man found with seven bags of cocaine after police chase through town

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A Dungannon man was found with seven bags of cocaine fter an afternoon police pursuit through the town’s streets.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to be sentenced on charges of drug possession and disorderly behaviour was Anthony Malachy Patrick Bell, 26, from Irish Street.

The court heard how police were driving down Scotch Street around noon on September 4 when they saw the defendant in the entrance to an alleyway running towards Irish Street.

Bell had a can of beer in his hand and seemed unsteady on his feet. He was shouting down the street, but the police were unable to discern the content.

When the defendant saw the police he ran off with the constables in pursuit.

They described him as being in a “volatile state” and had to be handcuffed. During his arrest he continually shouted obscenities at the officers and passers-by while also attempting to strike out.

At Dungannon Police Station seven small bags of white powder were found on his person and he subsequently admitted that it was cocaine for his personal use.

Mr Blaine Nugent, defending, told the court that his client had pleaded early to the charges.

“The drugs are worth in the region of £150 - hardly the upper end of the scale.

“Suffice to say he has suffered a hugely significant tragedy in his life.

“He has no offences for drugs on his record and this might allow the court to stay its hand.

“I would respectfully ask the the court take a chance on this young man.”

Noting his “appalling record”, District Judge John Meehan handed down a sentence totalling three months imprisonment.

“It is very difficult, given the record, to make the decision if to suspend this sentence.

“This has been tried before and he has ultimately reverted to offending.

“Nevertheless, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and suspend for two years.”

Fines of £200 were also imposed.