Northern Ireland

Motorist had 'heroin stuffed in sock', a court is told

A motorist had taken three wraps of heroin and had another 27 packets stuffed in his sock, the High Court has heard.

Police also discovered more than £1,500 in cash on Ciaran Toner on 21 January, prosecutors said.

Mr Toner, 32, of Springbank Close, Dunmurry, is charged with possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

He is further accused of driving while unfit, having no insurance or driving licence, and assaulting police.

Mr Toner was detained in the Distillery Street area of the city after getting out of the car and walking towards police, the court was told.

The court heard that heroin with an estimated street value of £1,300 was recovered during the operation.

During his bail application, the prosecution said Mr Toner was unsteady on his feet, appeared incoherent and was frothing at the corners of his mouth.

It was alleged that he later spat on a policewoman and became violent towards another officer when the suspected heroin was found in his sock.

Mrs Kitson said he admitted all the offences except for intending to supply the drugs.

"He said the 27 bags or wraps were heroin for his own personal use, that he bought 30 and had taken three wraps over the last 24 hours which would account for his appearance and behaviour at the scene," the barrister said.

She claimed eight phones and a large roll of silver foil found in the car were evidence of a connection to drug dealing.

Counsel for Mr Toner said his client was a heroin addict who allegedly took control of the car because the original driver, his uncle, was drunk.

He accepted the accused's reasoning may have been "from a warped perspective".

The cash found on him was part of a compensation claim awarded to his partner, according to the defence.

Mr Toner's bail application was adjourned due to issues around a suitable address and confirmation about his enrolment in an addiction programme.

Lord Justice Coghlin said: "It's an apprehension at one in the morning in a public street driving a car with no lights on having consumed three wraps of heroin with a further 27 down his sock.

"Sometimes these situations simply would take your breath away."