Man recently jailed for drugs offences receives new sentence for failing to co-operate after flying in from Spain

Man recently jailed for drugs offences receives new sentence for failing to co-operate after flying in from Spain

A MAN recently jailed for drugs offences has now been given a one month jail term for failing to co-operate with enquiries regarding his mobile phone after flying in to Northern Ireland from Spain.

Shaun Gray (41), who has links to Portrush, has admitted a charge of breaching port and border patrols on June 5, 2021.

The charge was that he 'wilfully obstructed, or sought to frustrate, a search or examination, under or by virtue of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000'.

The defendant appeared via video link from Magilligan Prison at Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena.

A defence solicitor said the defendant was in custody in respect of a Crown Court sentence.

At the end of April this year, Gray and 24-year-old Jordan Loney were sentenced to 18 months for a number of offences including possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B controlled drugs and possession of Class A, Class B and Class C controlled drugs.

Gray was also sentenced for possession of a prohibited weapon. Both men were told they would serve a nine months in custody and are also subject to nine month probation orders.

After that hearing, the PSNI issued a press release in which an officer said: “Police stopped and searched a vehicle in the Dunhill Road area of Coleraine on March 15, 2019. The driver, Gray, was arrested at the scene for possession of Class B drugs.

“Officers subsequently searched two addresses in the Portrush area, and during the course of this, Loney was arrested for Class A and Class B drugs offences.

“The searches recovered Class A and Class B drugs, including cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine and MDMA, as well as a Taser type device.

“I hope that the investigation and the fact that Gray and Loney have appeared before court today offers reassurance that we, along with partner organisations, remain committed to disrupting the activities of those involved with illegal drugs.

“The efforts are in keeping with Operation Dealbreaker – that’s our organisational commitment to tackle every aspect of drug misuse across Northern Ireland, and that includes its harrowing impact on the lives and relationships of local people.

“We’re grateful to the public for their continued support and would ask anyone with information, or concerns, to contact us on 101.”

At court this week a prosecutor said that at 4.15pm on June 5 last year Gray was stopped at a passport control point at Belfast International Airport as he came off a flight from Malaga.

She said an interview commenced with Gray "to determine whether he was or had been involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".

She said initially Gray was "co-operative" but he then folded up a "public information leaflet" without reading it and when asked to provide a 'PIN' for his mobile phone he said he couldn't remember it.

He then refused to speak, sitting with his arms folded and looking ahead without acknowledging or answering any further questions put to him.

The prosecutor said the phone was then seized and returned to him within seven days.

A defence solicitor said the legislation surrounding the charge was "quite draconian".

He said Gray was returning from "holiday" and after confirming his travel details police had "sought access to" his mobile phone.

The solicitor said the defendant declined the request and "subsequently nothing arose".

The defence lawyer added: "It was simply out of wishing to protect his own privacy. He was frustrated at being stopped by police."

The lawyer said the defendant had no "terrorist" matters on his record.

The one month sentence will be served concurrently with the defendant's current jail sentence.

  • Main picture: Belfast International Airport.