A man allegedly tried to smuggle a batch of diazepam pills into Northern Ireland’s highest security jail while visiting an inmate, the High Court has heard.
Sean Caffrey attempted to pass the consignment of drugs valued up to five times greater behind bars during the trip to HMP Maghaberry, prosecutors claimed.
Details emerged as the 24-year-old was granted bail because he has now spent nine months in custody.
Caffrey, with an address at Bridge Street in Newry, faces charges of possessing class C drugs with intent to supply, conveying an illicit article in or out of a prison, and two counts of criminal damage.
He was detained during a visit to Maghaberry on April 30 last year.
A Crown lawyer claimed Caffrey was observed passing something to the inmate as they shook hands and hugged.
Searches led to the recovery of 143 diazepam tablets.
The pills, which sell for around £1 each on the street, are worth three to five times as much in prison, the court heard.
Police believe the consignment had a value of between £429 and £715.
Caffrey was put in a holding room following his arrest, where he allegedly picked up a table and rammed it into a door.
According to the prosecution he was restrained, cautioned and replied: “Go f*** yourself.”
While being transported to a custody suite he also spat on the police van, it was claimed.
Defence counsel argued that Caffrey should now be released due to delays in the case.
Granting bail for the accused to live in Newcastle, Co Down, Mr Justice Colton stressed he would have ruled differently if the application had been mounted earlier.
“It’s a serious offence, bringing drugs into a prison, but the reality is he has now spent none months in custody as a result of that,” he said.
Based on a consultant psychiatrist’s report, the judge ordered Caffrey to see his GP within one week of his release.