A driver allegedly told to transport up to £180,000 worth of cocaine was so inept he forgot his destination, a court has heard.
Hugh Brady travelled around the Bangor area for at least 90 minutes before giving up and heading back towards Belfast, a judge was told.
Police said they seized the drugs after stopping the 49-year-old’s Ford C-MAX on the Sydenham by-pass on Wednesday night.
Brady, of Molyneaux Street in Belfast, appeared before the city’s Magistrates’ Court charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
He was granted bail after agreeing to put up a £3,000 cash surety.
An investigating detective had opposed his release, claiming there was a risk of reoffending.
The officer disclosed that 3kg of the Class A drug valued at between £120,000 and £180,000 had been recovered.
He argued Brady could face further demands from the criminal gang whose cocaine has been lost.
“During interview he alleged that he had been approached by persons who, in his words, you can’t say no to, and was asked to deliver a package to another location,” the detective said.
The court was told Brady tried to get to the intended address, but failed to find it.
He was said to have called at a garage seeking directions.
According to police he also purchased a mobile phone in a Tesco store, but didn’t have enough money to buy any credit for it.
In cross-examination the officer confirmed Brady was only treated as a suspected courier.
A defence solicitor argued that the accused was at the “very bottom” of any operation to move the drugs.
“He has been told where to bring it, and he forgot the exact location – that shows how nervous he was,” the lawyer contended.
“He can’t remember which place it was in Bangor, but he drove around Bangor for at least 90 minutes.”
District Judge Barney McElholm was told Brady had given up and was driving back to Belfast when he was arrested.
“That shows how inept he was, how far down the tree he is that he can’t carry out this simple task,” his lawyer added.
“He apologised repeatedly throughout (interview) and said I should never have done it.
“But once in the car he found himself with the drugs, he panicked and that’s the reason why he couldn’t find the address.”
At one stage the detective was asked if police believe Brady was an ordinary citizen, rather than part of a drugs gang.
According to the officer, however, only someone in a trusted position would be given such a consignment.
Granting bail to the father-of-three, the judge ordered Brady and his wife to lodge the surety said to represent their life savings.
He also imposed a night-time curfew and electronic monitoring.
Brady is due back in court on June 26.