Heroin users found in Belfast city centre public toilets

Police broke into a public toilet to catch two heroin users in Belfast city centre, a court has heard.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 5:30 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:00 pm

One woman was discovered on the floor of the cubicle close to a syringe at the Church Lane facilities on Saturday morning, prosecutors said.

Details emerged as her 26-year-old co-accused, Aiden McConnell, received a two-month suspended jail sentence.

McConnell, from the east of the city but of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug.

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Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told police on patrol entered the men’s toilets on Church Lane and saw someone’s head lying on the ground.

Officers approached the cubicle, heard voices and asked those inside to open up.

A prosecution lawyer said they had to force the door open after receiving no response.

McConnell was standing inside while 32-year-old Lesa Knocker was allegedly lying on the floor.

As police arrested the pair they saw a wrap of suspected heroin on the ground alongside a syringe containing brown fluid.

Later, in custody, a burnt spoon containing a brown substance was removed from the back of McConnell’s underwear.

Defence solicitor Dennis Boyd said his client had previously beaten a drug addiction, but relapsed into taking heroin after breaking up with a girlfriend.

“He’s someone who has recovered and only recently slipped,” Mr Boyd stressed.

Deputy District Judge Gerard Trainor ruled that the offence crossed the custody threshold.

But based on McConnell’s early guilty plea he suspended the two-month prison term for 18 months.

Meanwhile Knocker, of Skegoneill Avenue in Belfast, appeared on charges of possessing a class A drug and two assaults on a designated police person.

She was remanded in custody to appear again in three weeks time.