Man who killed his friend with heroin jailed for manslaughter

A 33-year-old who gave his friend a lethal heroin injection has been jailed for two years.

Monday, 2nd July 2018, 7:24 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:01 pm
Scales of justice

Newry man Stephen Millington died in his Dublin Road flat in the early hours of January 17 after he was injected with a dose of the drug, worth about £4.

A known alcohol and drug user, the 50-year old died after the drug was injected into his arm for the first time.

Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard Mr Millington had given his friend Mantas Cepas £40 to buy the drug, and that prior to this he had only smoked and never injected it.

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Cepas – a Lithuanian national who at the time of his friend’s death was living at Cowan Street, Newry – admitted both supplying the class A drug, and the manslaughter of his friend.

The court heard that Mr Millington’s death was a result of the effects of alcohol, heroin and a benzodiazepine.

He was informed by judge Melody McReynolds yesterday that he will spend two years of his four-year sentence in prison, followed by two years on licence.

The court was told that Mr Millington and Cepas had been drinking with their girlfriends at the deceased’s flat over a period from January 16 to 17, and in that time the two couples drank “two to three litre bottles of vodka”.

At one point, Mr Millington left the flat to get more drink.

After coming to the attention of police, as he was wearing flip-flops in January, he was brought back home by officers.

Mr Millington gave Cepas £40 for a bag of heroin. Cepas returned a short time later “visibly affected by drugs ... with his eyes rolling in his head”.

Mr Millington then tapped his own arm looking for a vein before asking Cepas to inject the heroin into his arm.

The court heard the deceased’s girlfriend, herself a heroin user, saw the amount in the syringe and told Cepas “that’s too much”.

A few seconds after the drug was administered, Mr Millington’s eyes rolled back and he slumped over.

An ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead at 3.20am.

When a post-mortem was carried out, the level of alcohol in his system would have produced “extreme drunkenness”, the court heard.

Cepas, who had a minor criminal record here and in Holland, co-operated with officers upon his arrest and voiced remorse.