Belfast man caught with cocaine and ammunition in bedroom

editorial image

A 41-year-old east Belfast man who was caught with cocaine and 13 rounds of ammunition in the bedroom of his home has been given a 15-month prison sentence.

Richard John Cartmill, from Tullyard Way in the Lisnasharragh area of the city, will serve half his sentence in custody, with the remaining time spent on supervised licence when he is released from custody.

Crown prosecutor Peter Magill said that on May 14 last year, police searched Cartmill’s home and found two separate wraps of cocaine amounting to around a third of a gramme in clothing in his wardrobe. Also located in the wardrobe were 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

When he was arrested, Cartmill said the cocaine was for his personal use, but didn’t say anything in regard to the ammunition. He subsequently admitted possessing both the drugs and the ammunition.

Mr Magill said Cartmill had a previous offence of a similar nature, namely for possessing a taser and ammunition, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Defence barrister Mark Farrell said Cartmill made the case that he was storing the ammunition for another person. Mr Farrell told the court: “There is no question of duress or being put under pressure. He was asked to store the ammunition and he did so willingly for another person.”

Branding this as a “drunken and foolish decision”, especially given that Cartmill had been caught storing ammunition before, Mr Farrell pointed out that no firearm was present and the ammunition wasn’t being linked to “any violence or any other criminality”.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC branded the offences as “serious” before handing Cartmill the 15-month sentence.