Ballymena Court hears man caught with drugs in run to last Christmas is ‘terrified’ of going back to jail

A COURT heard a man caught with drugs in his home two days before Christmas is “terrified” at going back to jail.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police searched the home of Stephen Martin (23), who is from Staffordstown Road, Randalstown, on December 23 last year.

She said police seized two small bags of cocaine; a small quantity of cannabis; 22 Gabapentin tablets; £770 cash; digital scales and some “used deal bags”.

A mobile phone also seized.

During interview the defendant admitted possession of drugs but denied supplying “any Class”.

The prosecutor said the phone was submitted for examination but investigators were “unable to access” it.

The prosecutor said the defendant admitted the white powder was cocaine and admitted he had the tablets without a prescription.

The defendant was before the court, via a video link from his solicitor’s office, for sentencing and pleaded guilty to charges of possessing cocaine, cannabis and Gabapentin.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant was “terrified” of the thought of a return to custody.

The court heard the defendant had been jailed before when offences had included supply of a Class A drug.

The defence lawyer said Martin had “struggled with his personal misuse of drugs”.

The court heard the defendant is engaging with the ‘Aspire’ project.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would defer sentencing until May 2021, and said there must be no offending and the defendant must continue engaging with the ‘Aspire’ project.

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