A JUDGE in Ballymena has varied bail conditions to allow a man originally from County Donegal, who is described by police as being "significant in the drugs world," to cross the border back to his home county.
Desmond Enfield (38), originally from Ramelton but now with an address listed as Comber in County Down, is charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.
He is also accused of possessing cocaine with intent to supply; conspiracy at Clarke Court in Antrim town to import cannabis and entering an arrangement to acquire 'criminal' property.
The charges relate to March to June in 2020, Court News NI can report.
The defendant appeared via a video link from his solicitor's office at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, for an application to vary his bail conditions.
At a previous court a defence solicitor said Enfield was originally from Donegal and he wished to vary bail as regards a condition that he must report to a police station in Belfast three times a week and a condition which prohibits him from "leaving the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland".
The solicitor said the defendant had family in Donegal and wished to be allowed to go to Ramelton "on a fortnightly basis".
Objecting to the bail variation, a police officer had told the earlier court: "It would be the police view that Mr Enfield's involvement is significant in the drugs world."
She had said he was allegedly linked to an "encrypted phone" and there was "chat about drugs coming across the border".
District Judge Nigel Broderick had adjourned the bail application and asked police to ask Gardai to make enquiries in relation to the application and the case had been put back to March 8.
At court on March 8 a police officer said they still objected to the defendant being allowed to go to Donegal, "given the seriousness of the offences".
She said the PSNI objected to the bail change "in case he fails to surrender".
Judge Brodeick said: "We live in the real world. The reality is he could get on a bus and go to Dublin. The fact that he has come to court and put the court on notice I think probably is some credit to him".
On balance, the judge said he was minded to grant the bail variation to allow the defendant to go to Donegal "every second weekend".
The defendant now also only has to report to a PSNI Station two times a week instead of three times.
The case was adjourned to April 5.