Man was hiding cocaine ‘between buttocks’

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Police stopped and searched a Ballymena man and found he had a small plastic bag containing cocaine secreted, according to a prosecutor, “between his buttocks”.

Terence Dunlop (27), of Queen Street, was stopped by police in the town’s Carnduff Drive area, where he used to live, on December 2 last year.

The prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday that officers said to Dunlop he was going to subjected to a “strip search”.

Dunlop said he preferred it to be done in his home nearby rather than being taken to the police station.

When the cocaine was unearthed he told police he got drugs the night before in Belfast at a cost of £40 from an unknown man.

Whilst in his house, police searched the premises and found cannabis and three Class C Subutex tablets.

Dunlop told police he didn’t use Subutex.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant had 52 previous convictions all related to a “need to feed addictive habits”.

He said his client’s life was blighted by mis-use of substances and his mind was often “muddled by a cocktail of drugs”.

The lawyer said Dunlop has the support of his mother and brother and is hopeful to move out of the Ballymena area “away from influences that tend to drag him back into the drugs scene”.

He added: “The court has probably had enough of Terence Dunlop”.

Mr Law said the defendant has been on a methadone programme.

District Judge Peter King told Dunlop he was “becoming a regular customer” at the court even in the relatively short time since he became the judge in the town.

Dunlop had previously pleaded guilty to charges of possessing Class A, B and C drugs and imposing a four months jail term, suspended for two years, Judge King urged him to get help for his addictions.