Probation for ‘mail drop’ drugs accused


A 25-year-old man who allowed his Belfast home to be used as a “mail-drop” for drug dealers, has been freed on two years probation after also agreeing to carry out 90 hours community service.

Belfast Crown Court Judge McCaffrey told John Gerard Murphy that he was being “given a chance”, but that “society would be better served” if he was allowed the opportunity of addressing his own addiction problems, while at the same time putting something back into the community.

Murphy, of Irwell Court, pleaded guilty to attempting to supply the class C drug Diazepam, possession of the drug and cultivating cannabis in September 2014.

Prosecution barrister Gareth Purvis told an earlier hearing that on September 9, 2014, police intercepted over 33,500 of the tablets in 450 packets at Belfast’s Post Office sorting office in Toome Street. The drugs, with a street value of up to £17,000, were addressed to Murphy’s home.

The lawyer said that 10 days later police uncovered a further 1,700 Diazepam tablets in a planned search of Murphy’s home, together with four cannabis plants, which were in a poor condition.

Mr Purvis said it was accepted that Murphy’s home “was being used as a mail-drop for more sinister planners” for which he was being paid a small amount of money, although there would be little financial reward for him.

“He stands on the similar rung of the ladder as a courier,” he added.

Defence barrister Barry Gibson described Murphy as a young man who was somewhat socially isolated, partly disabled, and the mistaken victim of a punishment shooting, which eventually led him into falling in with bad company.

A pattern, said Mr Gibson, then emerged in which Murphy got “into the clutches of more sinister individuals who put further pressure on him”.