Court hears police found man accused of a string of drugs offences hiding under insulation in an attic

Court hears police found man accused of a string of drugs offences hiding under insulation in an attic

A MAN with a Bangor address facing drugs charges who police found hiding under insulation in an attic has had a bail application refused.

Newtownards Magistrates Court (main picture) heard that Shawn Atkinson (19), of Broadway, Bangor, had for a period of time being "actively avoiding police" and on other occasions ran off from officers.

The defendant is accused of possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply on September 24, 2020; possession of MDMA and cannabis; obstructing a police officer and possession of 'criminal property'.

He is accused of being concerned in the production of MDMA and supplying MDMA on October 2, 2020.

The defendant is charged with possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply on July 31, 2021; possession of MDMA and cannabis; obstructing a police officer and driving offences in relation to an Audi A4 in the Comber area.

He is charged with possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply on August 6, 2021 and is also accused of possessing cocaine and cannabis and possessing £406 cash as 'criminal property'.

In relation to October 29, 2021, he is charged with possessing amphetamine with intent to supply and possession of amphetamine and cannabis.

Atkinson is currently in custody and Newtownards Magistrates Court heard the defendant had bail refused at the High Court in in November.

A defence lawyer told Newtownards Court the cases were likely to go to the Crown Court which could take some time.

He said forensics reports had still to be received and there was a possibility computers and phones will have to be looked at.

The lawyer said the defendant has been on remand in custody since the end of October.

He said one of the reasons Atkinson was previously refused bail was because he had "evaded police for a significant period of time".

The lawyer said the defendant has now been "co-operating" with the PSNI Reducing Offending Unit in Bangor in terms of steps which could be taken to reduce his risk of further offending.

A police officer objected to bail.

The officer said, Atkinson spent "an awful long time actively avoiding police" and added: "On the day he was arrested he was found hiding in the attic of a house underneath the insulation".

The officer said on other occasions the defendant ran off from police, including jumping out of the window of a house.

The policeman said the defendant had been using a "fake driving licence".

The defence lawyer admitted the defendant "didn't cover himself with glory" in terms of his behaviour towards police leading up to his arrest but he had no previous record.

Refusing bail, District Judge Mark Hamill said the "risk of flight is overwhelming" as he had "literally took to his heels and fled from police, apart from hiding from police, evading police".

The defendant was remanded in continuing custody and the case adjourned to January 12.

The court heard there was a linked case.

67-year-old Barry Gough, whose address is listed as the same number at Broadway in Bangor as Shawn Atkinson also faces a number of drugs charges.

He is charged in relation to October 29 and November 4, 2021.

He is accused of possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply; being concerned in the supply of MDMA and cannabis and possession of MDMA and cannabis.

Gough's case has been adjourned to February 4.