Coleraine man needs to be allowed to drive due to suspected threats against him


A Coleraine man charged over an alleged drugs courier scam has been linked to more than 40 deals, the High Court heard on March 21.

A so-called “assisting offender” claims he was involved with Peter Neill in a series of transactions across Northern Ireland.

Details emerged as 49-year-old Neill secured permission to travel in a car within his hometown.

A judge was told he needs to be allowed to drive while out on bail due to suspected threats against him.

Neill, of Hazelbank Road in Coleraine, was arrested last year as part of an investigation into alleged drugs trading worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. He faces charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis on a range of dates from September 2012 to December 2016. Neill is further accused of possessing and transferring criminal property, and having a magazine for an assault rifle without a firearm certificate.

Prosecution counsel Natalie Pinkerton told the court: “The nature of the allegation is that the applicant travelled in other vehicles around the province in relation to the supply of drugs.” She confirmed that some of the charges against Neill are based on claims from an unnamed assisting offender about travelling to collect drugs.

Defence barrister Joe Brolly disclosed that at least 42 alleged transactions have been identified. But he argued that his client was in custody on some of those dates.

The court was also told that up to nine other people have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service for consideration as part of the same investigation.

Lord Justice Weatherup ruled that Neill is to have no contact with them or his co-accused. However, he decided that the defendant an travel in a private vehicle within the areas of Coleraine’s ring-road.