A man blasted in the legs by loyalist paramilitaries has appeared on crutches in court where a judge said it was obvious the disabilities did not prevent him from supplying drugs.
Stephen Clyde (22), of Windsor Place, Portrush was jailed for 11 months last Tuesday at Coleraine Magistrates Court where he admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possession of the illegal drug.
District Judge Liam McNally sentenced him to five months for the drugs offences and six months for his role in a riot in Coleraine in 2013. Bail of £500 was fixed for appeal.
Clyde, who had a previous record, was recently quoted in the media about being targeted in a paramilitary-style attack in 2013, which he blamed on the UDA.
At court in Coleraine last week, where Clyde was due to have contested the drugs charges, he changed his pleas to guilty.
A prosecution lawyer said police carried out a raid on Clyde’s home last October and found 19 grammes of suspected herbal cannabis with a value of £380 along with bags, scales, other paraphernalia and a mobile phone.
The court heard a text on a phone referred to a message which said: “Got blue cheese”.
Clyde, who had been shot in the leg in 2013, originally told police said the drugs where his and he used them to “self-medicate to help my pain and nerve damage” and he denied dealing. Defence barrister Michael Smith said Clyde had been subjected to a “punishment attack and was shot to the leg”. He claimed the defendant was supplying drugs to his family and friends and not to “strangers”.
Mr Smith said Clyde was “self-medicating” with cannabis and he said he was perhaps supplying to those close to him to pay for his own drugs.
Judge McNally said: “Obviously a disability doesn’t prevent him from supplying drugs”.
The judge said Clyde did not have to stand when he was sentencing him.
Referring to the riotious behaviour charge regarding incidents in Coleraine’s Bridge Street in June 2013, Mr McNally he said he had given a number of those involved chances to see if they would stay out of trouble and he had previously told the defendant he would get six months if he re-offended and he had, by supplying drugs.