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Armagh man who once threatened school massacre sentenced for drugs offences

An Armagh man who was caught with Class A and B drugs following his arrest for breaching a Violent Offences Prevention Order has been handed a £200.

The 38-year-old’s barrister told court: “Over the past five or six years he has been detained under the Mental Health Order on numerous occasions, however, the last time he was detained was in 2018 and he has tried to better himself in recent times”.

Martyn James Price, of Railway Street, was sentenced for possession of Class B and possession of Class C on June 16 last year.

Price appeared at the city’s Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that the last entry on the defendant’s record related to the breach of a Violent Offences Prevention Order (VOPO).

The VOPO was imposed in January 2017 when Price was also put on probation for two years for issuing threats to kill children at an east Belfast school.

He admitted making a threat to murder five-year-olds at Elmgrove Primary in January 2015 when, in an email to a customer support adviser at an online betting company, Price said he wanted to “kill more” youngsters than Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton.

As a result of last year’s breach Price was searched, during which police located six Xanax tablets and a small quantity of cannabis resin.

The breach was dealt with in the Crown Court, whilst it was decided to prosecute the drugs matters in the lower court.

Defence barrister Turlough Madden stated: “He was stopped in the Armagh area; he made full admissions to these matters during interview and these travelled along with the breach of the VOPO.

“He always intended to plead guilty to these offences, it was quite a small quantity of drugs which were purely for personal use. He does have a record for relevant offences but is not in breach of any suspended sentences”.

He continued: “A psychiatric report fro the end of June last year has been provided, this is a man with a significant history of mental health problems. These stem back to 2011, when he was living in Manchester, and he has since been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

“Over the past five or six years he has been detained under the Mental Health Order on numerous occasions, however, the last time he was detained was in 2018 and he has tried to better himself in recent times”.

District Judge Eamon King commented: “My only issue, or cause for concern, would be the impact of these illicit drugs on his mental health, but I am presume that has already been pointed out to him”.

Price was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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