Northern Ireland

Newtownabbey man jailed for cocaine and cannabis role

Laganside

A father of three who supplied cocaine and cannabis has been jailed for eight months.

Darren Richmond, 43, from Whitehouse Gardens. Newtownabbey, admitted helping to supply the drugs.

On Friday, Belfast Crown Court heard that Richmond came to police attention over an unrelated matter.

He was caught because of text messages found on another man's phone. He had been helping someone else to supply the drugs.

A Crown lawyer said Richmond's home was searched in March 2013 after incriminating text messages between him and another man were found.

No drugs were found during the search, but his phone was seized and examined and in December 2013, he was arrested on drugs offences.

The lawyer said Richmond was "essentially a street dealer who supplied cocaine and cannabis to friends on behalf of another person... the dealer who supplied him".

He said that in one of the text messages, the "dealer" told Richmond he would be paid £5 for every gram of cocaine he sold - although the Crown accepted he "was not making a profit".

Richmond's defence barrister said Richmond "facilitated" the supply of drugs for about five months.

The barrister said his client "could have walked away", but said that at the time Richmond was a cannabis user who was given the drug for his own use in return for his role.

His lawyer said that it would be "an understatement to say he had compromised his family life by this utter stupidity".

The only drug he now takes is prescribed medication, he said.

Sentencing him, the judge said drug dealing was a "serious matter".