Man given longer sentence for smuggling drugs into jail

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A convicted murderer from Coleraine who was caught smuggling drugs into a County Antrim jail after a home visit, has had an additional ten months added to his sentence.

Samuel David Joseph Cummings was given 15 years for murdering a man outside a nightclub in Portrush in 2000.

The Coleraine man was to have been eligible for release this November.

However, his sentence has been increased after he admitted eight drugs offences arising from an incident at Maghaberry prison on 7 February 2014.

A crown prosecutor said Cummings, who is originally from The Crescent area of Coleraine, was searched at the prison when he returned from visiting his family.

He appeared unsteady on his feet, and his lips and tongue were blue. He was searched and when he was asked to remove his underwear, a package fell to the floor. Two further packages were also found.

The court heard the drugs were cannabis resin, herbal cannabis, 618 diazepam tablets and 810 phenazepam tablets.

Cummings barrister said that despite this client having a “fairly high intellectual ability”, Cummings realised it was an “astoundingly stupid” thing to do.

The defence barrister said Cummings acted as he did after receiving a “triple whammy” about the ill health of close relatives.

The judge said the incident was “crude and unsophisticated” and said Cummings’ actions could have ramifications for the day release system.