Man accused of supplying heroin to woman who died at restaurant refused bail

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A man allegedly involved in supplying heroin to a woman found dead in a Belfast restaurant must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Liam Dowds is accused of a drugs offence being linked to the 25-year-old’s fatal overdose at a KFC in the city centre last year.

Refusing his application for bail, Mr Justice Horner said there was a risk of re-offending.

Dowds, of unknown age and from Callaghan Court in Belfast, faces a charge of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.

He was arrested as part of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death on March 8, 2015.

Prosecution counsel Conor Gillespie said her body was discovered at closing time on the floor of a toilet in KFC’s Donegall Place branch.

An autopsy confirmed she died from a heroin overdose shortly after the drug was taken, the court heard.

Examination of her phone uncovered a series of texts to a number saved under the name “Dowsy”.

According to Mr Gillespie the messages contained details of arranging a drugs sale.

He said one stated: “My mate will do you half g for 50, ok love.”

A taxi driver spoken to by police claimed he later saw a man hand over something to the woman before he left her off in the city centre, the court was told.

She was seen entering the fast food restaurant, according to the witness.

Mr Gillespie added that investigations confirmed that the mobile number was one held on record for Dowds.

The accused had previously been out on bail, only to be returned to custody for breaching conditions on his residence and use of a phone.

Defence counsel Conn O’Neill argued that Dowds could live with his long-term partner at an address in the Dunmurry area.

But denying bail, the judge ruled: “I’m not satisfied I can manage the risk of further offending in this case.” ends