Ten in dock on series of drugs charges

TEN individuals who face drugs charges were packed into the dock at Banbridge Magistrates' Court last week as part of an ongoing case relating to a number of undercover operations at the town's Coach Inn last year.

The ten were all released on continuing bail to appear again on September 4.

Among the ten was owner of the Coach Inn, John Dominic Quinn (51),from Fedney Hill Road, Banbridge, who faced five charges of knowingly permitting his premises to be used for the use of drugs.

The charges he faces are alleged to have occurred on 18 August last, 1 September 2007, 15 September 2007, 29 September 2007 and 27 October 2007.

Another Banbridge man, Gareth John McAleavey (20), from Ballygowan Road, is charged with supplying Ecstacy on 27 October 2007.

Others appearing in the dock were father and son David Lloyd Barkley (52) and Nathan Lloyd Barkley (26), from Antrim Road, Ballymena, who face charges of supplying Ecstacy on dates last September and October.

Lurgan man Stephen James Creaney (24), from Marlborough Park, is also charged with supplying Ecstacy on 15 September last, while Scott Irwin (21), from Woodlands, Carrickfergus, is charged with supplying Ecstacy on 1 September 2007.

Kirk Stuart Graham Blair (37), from Killycavan Manor, Dungannon, is charged with possession of Class C drug Cannabis on 29 November 2007 and possession of a Class A drug on the same date.

Mark William Le Blanc (33), from Chicester Park East, Ballymena, faces four charges of possessing Ecstacy last September and two of supplying Ecstacy in addition to a charge of possessing Class C drug Cannabis Resin on 29 November.

Gareth William Robinson (21), Springhill Road, Magheralin, faces two counts of possessing Ecstacy last September, two counts of supplying Ecstacy last September and a charge of possessing Cannabis Resin last November.

The tenth defendant, a youth, cannot be named.

A PPS representative gave the court an update on the case explaining that papers had been forwarded to the relevant department on 25 July.

He explained that the Inspector in charge of the case was off until the end of August and therefore it was his proposal to adjourn the case for two months.

A barrister for John Dominic Quinn said this was the ninth time his client had been before the court on this matter and asked if his client could be excused from attending on 4 September.

District Judge Mr Paul Copeland replied, “I don’t think so given the nature of these charges.”

Mr Copeland directed that the case be adjourned until 4 September to allow the senior officer to be present in court.

This, said Mr Copeland, will enable the senior officer to give the court a timetable as regards to the way forward.

Speaking to the ten men in the dock, Mr Copeland said, “You are all released on continuing bail to appear in person, each and every one of you, to the 4th of September.”