Man pleads guilty over heroin linked to woman's death

A 35-year-old Belfast man, once jailed for threatening to kill a friend, has pleaded guilty to the supply of heroin linked to the death of a young woman in March last year.

Defence lawyer Conn O’Neill had asked for Liam Dowds to be arraigned on the single charge of being “concerned in the supply of a controlled drug of class A namely heroin” between March 6 and 10, 2015.

Dowds, from River Terrace, Belfast, who pleaded guilty, was remanded back into custody by Her Honour Judge McCaffrey for sentence next month following the completion of probation and other reports.

Prosecution lawyer Robin Steer gave no details to Belfast Crown Court surrounding the charge, save that the case “unfortunately” involved a death.

A High Court bail hearing earlier this year had heard that Dowds was arrested as part of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 25-year-old woman on March 8, 2015.

The court was also told that her body was discovered at closing time on the floor of a toilet in KFC’s Donegall Place branch, and that a subsequent autopsy confirmed she died from a heroin overdose shortly after taking the class A drug.

Five years ago Dowds was jailed for two years by Belfast Crown Court for threatening to kill a former acquaintance.

The then 29-year-old, who also served three years supervised licensed parole, had confronted his victim with two large butcher-type knives in January 2010, threatening him and his children.