Drugs accused ‘passed package of heroin worth £4,000’

A file picture of the A1
A file picture of the A1

More than £4,000 worth of suspected heroin was allegedly concealed in the backside of a man stopped on a Co Down motorway, a court has heard.

John Goodman, 33, later passed a package believed to contain the drugs in hospital after refusing to undergo x-ray examinations, a judge was told.

Goodman, from Tonagh Gardens in Lisburn, was arrested along with 46-year-old Elvis Williams, of Hill Street in Belfast, on Monday.

Police claimed the pair were returning from Dublin when their car was stopped on the A1 at Hillsborough.

Both men appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court charged with possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

An investigating detective claimed Goodman, who faces a further count of importing heroin, had the package hidden in his backside.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast but declined to be subjected to a body cavity examination, the court heard.

“It meant he then had to stay in hospital taking up a valuable bed,” the detective said.

A package was later passed but has yet to be forensically examined.

However, police believe at this stage that it contained 1.5 ounces of heroin with a street value of around £4,200.

Opposing bail for Goodman, the detective claimed: “The fact he has gone to great lengths to conceal this shows he may well reoffend.

“We say he’s gone down to the Republic of Ireland to get these drugs, and he’s got his co-accused to drive him for that purpose.”

Defence solicitor Fergal MacElhatton argued there was no evidence Goodman had been across the border.

He also stressed it has not yet been confirmed what was in the package.

“Because of the manner it was secreted there’s health and safety issues in terms of examining this,” Mr MacElhatton added.

Goodman was refused bail, however, due to the risk of further offences and remanded in custody to appear again on March 23.

Counsel for Williams argued that he had consented to the body search which revealed nothing being hidden in him.

Although he faces a further count of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, defence barrister Jonathan Browne succeeded in having the importation charge against him withdrawn.

He argued there was no proof his client knew anything about the alleged illegal substances being concealed by Goodman.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted Williams bail on condition he surrenders his passport and has no contact with his co-accused.

He is also due back in court in four weeks time.