Court in Ballymena hears man caught with drugs was part of 'buying group'

Court in Ballymena hears man caught with drugs was part of 'buying group'

A MAN caught with drugs in a vehicle was part of what a defence barrister described as a "buying group".

The defence lawyer said Michael James Acheson (41), of Morven Park in Dundonald, had "taken money from individuals for the purpose of buying for the group".

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena (main picture), where the defendant admitted charges of possessing cocaine with intent to supply; possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing "criminal property" - cash.

A prosecutor said police searched a vehicle at 12.40am on April 30 this year and found 7.7 grammes of cocaine; 27g of cannabis; a "small quantity" of cash and a phone.

Police then searched an address at Kincora in Ballymena and found more drugs, cash, a mobile phone, scales and grinders.

A "co-accused" was the only person in the address, the prosecutor said.

A defence barrister said police accept Acheson was part of a "buying group" and the money he had was to purchase drugs on behalf of the group.

He said prosecutors had not tried to link Acheson to the items found at Kincora.

The barrister said Acheson seems to have "started to turn his life around" and aims to "keep himself on the straight and narrow".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Acheson the guilty plea saved him from going to prison and handed down a four months sentence, suspended for a year.