Woman bailed over music festival drugs bust at the weekend

Woman bailed over music festival drugs bust at the weekend

A self-confessed dealer has faced charges of peddling drugs at a music festival.

Mum of two Sarah Gates was freed on bail despite police objections she would re-offend to help pay off a debt.

The 25-year-old appeared in the dock of Derry Magistrates Court on Monday charged with having LSD, ecstasy, cannabis and diazepam.

Gates, from the Meadowlands estate in Downpatrick, is also charged with supplying ecstasy and with intent to supply drugs.

A police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that he could connect the defendant to all of the charges.

Opposing bail, he said the defendant came to the notice of security staff because of her suspicious behaviour at the music festival in Limavady on Saturday.

Police searched her and found 200 ecstasy tablets, 200 doses of LSD, 150 diazepam tablets and four grams of herbal cannabis.

The officer said the defendant was arrested and taken to Limavady police station.

During questioning she admitted bringing the drugs to the festival with the intention of supplying them, the court heard.

The police witness said the defendant told him that she started dealing in drugs in Belfast last February to pay off a £200 fine which had been imposed on her for driving without insurance.

He said because of the fine she had got into debt and she admitted that she then made the conscious decision to start drug dealing.

The officer said the defendant made a “full and frank admission” to all of the charges before the court.

He said she was not the usual type of person normally involved in drugs dealing.

The police officer told the district judge that he believed the defendant would re-offend if released on bail and would re-engage in supplying drugs in order to recoup her losses.

Applying for bail, a defence solicitor said it was a “somewhat unusual case”.

He said the defendant has no previous similar convictions and she only got involved in supplying drugs to pay off a motoring fine.

The lawyer said it was an “extremely foolish and amateurish operation” by the defendant who had paid £1,000 for the drugs.

He said he hoped her drug dealing days had been nipped in the bud.

The district judge released the defendant on her own bail of £1,000 to appear at Limavady court in October.

She is also banned from any festivals and from having any non prescribed drugs.

As part of her bail conditions, she is also to be electronically tagged and she must adhere to a 9 pm to 8 am curfew.


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