Northern Ireland

Prescription drugs: Woman bailed following searches

A woman accused of being part of an illegal plot to supply prescription drugs into Northern Ireland has been granted bail.

Kelly Clarke, 45, was arrested after police seized a large quantity of diazepam tablets in north Belfast.

Three men were also arrested after searches on Thursday at locations in the city and Stoke-On-Trent in England.

Ms Clarke, of Ardoyne Road in Belfast, was charged with conspiracy to supply class C drugs.

She appeared before the city's Magistrates Court today also facing a charge of being concerned in the supply of diazepam between 1 August last year and 16 April this year.

Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch carried out the searches with assistance from Staffordshire Police.

Intolerable

A detective opposed bail on the grounds that there was a risk the accused would re-offended.

But a defence barrister argued that his client was a carer for two children and had no previous drugs convictions.

He said it would be "intolerable" for her to be kept in custody for months while phone analysis is carried out as part of the investigation.

The judge banned Ms Clarke from using mobile phones or contacting any of the co-accused.

She is due back in court next month.

Meanwhile, police are continuing to question other individuals arrested in the operation.

One of them, a 22-year-old man, was returned to Northern Ireland from England, where a large quantity of cash and other items were seized.