Diazepam: Online drug 'putting more young people in hospital'

The number of young people hospitalised after taking a diazepam circulating on the online black market has increased, a court has heard.

On Monday, a police officer told Londonderry Magistrates' Court there had been a noticeable increase of cases in recent weeks.

The claim was made as a man was refused bail over drugs-related charges.

Martin McShane, 38, from Dunfield Terrace in Derry is accused of possession and intending to supply.

Up to 500 counterfeit pills, each worth £1, were recovered following searches of the defendant, his car and his home, the court heard.

The officer said the police also found drugs-related text messages on the defendant's mobile phone and digital scales and deal bags in his house.

He was arrested in Chamberlain Street, near the city centre, on Sunday.

The officer said one of the reasons she opposed the defendant being granted bail was due to the Article 2 Right to Life of The Human Rights Act in relation to young people who purchased the counterfeit diazepam.

She said the defendant told the police that he consumed 40 to 50 of the tablets at a time.

The judge said no-one knew what was contained in the counterfeit tablets.

He refused bail and remanded the defendant in custody until 11 September.