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Man allegedly caught with £5,000 of drugs while on bail for similar offences

Bail has been refused for a Portadown man who allegedly caught in possession of over £5,000 worth of cannabis while he faced separate charges for similar offences.

Aiden McGurgan, 44, of Woodside Green, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that the defendant had just served a prison sentence but was on remand for other matters.

He stood charged with possession of both class A and class B drug, with intent and concern to supply class B along with the possession of criminal property.

The offending items were recovered from McGurgan’s house during a police search on April 14.

A constable in court stated that officers arrived at the address shortly after 6pm to find no one was there.

During the search, police found £5,700 worth of cannabis, £200 worth of cocaine, £150 in cash along with suspected deal bags, scales and multiple mobile phones.

McGurgan was later arrested by police for the offences outlined in court.

Police objected to bail, stating that the address provided was too close to the Churchill area, in which these crimes took place.

A constable stated this area had a “high rate of drug-related offences” and given that the defendant had two previous convictions for such crimes the likelihood of reoffending was high.

She added that McGurgan has conceded he has a drug problem, has no settled employment and is likely to get a prison sentence for this offence.

It was also heard that the defendant had told police that he had fears for his own life following his release; this was surrounding drug debts that he could owe.

This added to the fear, the constable added, that McGurgan may flee the jurisdiction.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated the proposed address was the defendant’s sister’s home and although geographically close she was there to help him.

He commented that McGurgan’s sister worked in the health profession as an administrator and she understood “her brother’s life had been wrecked by drugs”.

Mr Thompson claimed she and the rest of the family were a strong base who wanted to help McGurgan.

Court heard that a previous bail application which had been denied had been the defendant’s mother’s home but she had sadly passed away with McGurgan not being able to see her before she did.

It was also heard that the defendant had a number of mental health problems with Mr Thompson telling court McGurgan had a breakdown whilst in prison.

The barrister finished by saying “his sister knows about drug problems, she knows about addiction and ultimately she knows what her brother is”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “These offences were committed whilst on bail for similar offences”.

Adding: “The address is just too geographically close and this is not just about reoffending but his own safety”.

McGurgan’s bail was refused and he will return to court on August 31 for the decision on a full file.

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