Man posts £10k drugs to Province

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TEN friends clubbed together to buy £10,000 worth of high quality cannabis then posted it back to Northern Ireland from Amsterdam, Belfast High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said one of them, a drug addict from Portstewart, mailed the consignment to his own address during a trip to the Dutch capital earlier this month.

Stuart Pearson faces charges of possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply and two counts of drug importation.

The 41-year-old, of Aghermore Close, was granted bail but ordered to surrender his passport.

He was arrested after police searched his home on July 8 and allegedly discovered 1kg of cannabis.

Crown counsel Kate McKay said Mr Pearson made full admissions to the offences which involve drugs with an estimated £10,000 street value.

The court was told he admitted flying to Amsterdam on July 3 and staying there for three days.

During the trip he bought the cannabis from a man and posted it back to his own address, it was alleged.

Mrs McKay said Pearson claimed the money came from a group of 10 friends who each contributed 500 euros.

The drugs were to be shared out among them, with the overseas purchase allegedly motivated by more expensive costs at home.

Pearson was also said to have claimed a better quality product could be obtained abroad.

Mrs Mckay said one concern for police was his refusal to name any of the others.

A defence barrister told the court Pearson had used cannabis since he was 18 and was willing to seek help for his addiction.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Treacy ordered him to attend his GP for treatment within 48 hours of his release.

The judge also imposed a night-time curfew and banned him from having a mobile phone.