PICTURE : MARK JAMIESON
A County Londonderry man caught with 31 E tabs at a top north coast nightclub was labelled a “fall guy” after he claimed a group decision was made for him to buy the Class A drugs for friends on a night out, a court heard on Monday.
Jack McDaid (22), of Brecanlea, Claudy, had the offences detected on May 12 this year at Kelly’s nightclub in Portrush.
He appeared in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing on charges of possessing Ecstasy and having the Class A drug with intent to supply which he had previously pleaded guilty to.
A prosecutor said staff at Kelly’s detained McDaid and contacted police and during a PSNI interview the defendant admitting buying 31 Ecstasy tablets to supply to a group of his friends.
He said he was intoxicated and added: “I was very stupid and I’m sorry”.
The defendant did not tell police how much he bought the drugs for or from whom he purchased them.
Defence barrister Ben Thompson said the defendant, who lives with his parents and had a clear record, bought the drugs from “A.N.Other and doesn’t want to name that person for obvious reasons”.
Deputy District Judge Paul Conway asked if any of the defendant’s friends who were with him that night were in court “or have they just left him high and dry?” Mr Thompson said they were not present.
Judge Conway added: “I think it is very telling that these supposed friends are not here. They are not showing him emotional or any type of support. They have just let him take the fall for what was a stupid decision. This was a group decision. He is the one that has been left as the fall guy for the group”.
The judge said if there was evidence that McDaid had intended to supply to “unknown persons” at the nightclub and the case had gone to the Crown Court the defendant would have been looking at a custodial sentence.
Judge Conway said sentencing had to act as a deterrent to others that “even supplying drugs to a group of friends will not be tolerated by the courts.”
Ordered the defendant to do 150 hours of Community Service the judge told McDaid: “You have been left the fall guy by your supposed mates. I would query your choice of friends who simply abandon you.”