Judge 'concerned' after 4,000 Diazepam tablets found under mattress at a property in Ballymena

Judge 'concerned' after 4,000 Diazepam tablets found under mattress at a property in Ballymena

A JUDGE said he was "very concerned" after 4,000 Diazepam tablets were found hidden beneath a mattress at a Ballymena address.

District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court (main picture) where Philip Dunlop (38), of Devenagh Way, Ballymena, pleaded guilty to possessing Diazepam in relation to February 20 this year.

He also admitted having cannabis.

A prosecutor said Ambulance Service had been at the property and called the police about a "concern" for safety as Dunlop and his wife Rosemary (39) -  a father and mother - were in a "state of heavy intoxication" with a strong smell of cannabis present.

The court heard Philip Dunlop told police he bought the 'Blues' through a friend and said the cannabis was for his back pain and arthritis.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said the defendant "acknowledged his wrong-doing".

Upon hearing about the amount of Diazepam found, Judge Broderick asked: "Why is there no intent to supply charge? That is a huge amount of tablets, 4,000.

"Do the prosecution accept they were all for his personal use?"

The prosecutor said the defendant claimed to take over 50 Diazepam a week.

The judge told Philip Dunlop: "I am very concerned about the number of tablets you had in your possession. For some reason the police and the prosecution are prepared to accept that you had 4,000 Diazepam tablets for your own personal use. Personally, I have my doubts but the charge is simple possession".

To help address what Judge Broderick described as a "chronic drug problem" he put the defendant on Probation for a year with a condition that he engages in any treatment programme.

Rosemary Dunlop - with an address listed as Doury Park in Ballymena - is charged with attempting to possess Diazepam and cannabis and obstructing police on February 20.

That case has been adjourned to October 7 for a contest.