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Maghaberry prison officer charged with dealing drugs

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Stephen Martin, a serving prison officer has appeared in court in Lisburn charged with 16 drugs offences, including supplying cocaine and cannabis inside Maghaberry prison.

The 23-year-old is also charged with misconduct in public office and bail was refused.

Two women, aged 55 and 26, were also arrested as part of the same investigation at the prison, and have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

It follows searches of properties in Lisburn and Dungannon.

Martin was arrested on Friday after being found to have packages containing suspected cocaine, cannabis and diazepam tablets hidden in his boots.

Lisburn Ma gistrate's Court heard Martin initially refused to be searched.

A detective, said the accused later agreed, and had removed the two packages from his boots and said he was acting under duress.

"He was in over his head and put under pressure by a prisoner to bring these items in and foolishly he succumbed," a defence lawyer told the court.

The Police detective told the court that drugs and other related paraphernalia had been found at the home of the accused and an examination of his phone showed he was using and dealing drugs both inside and outside the prison.

"He is a key player in an organised crime gang," said the officer.

"Without him this activity couldn't happen within the prison." Charges against the officer include: Possession with intent to supply class A, B and C drugs, Conspiracy to supply the same three classes of drugs, Conveying prohibited items into a prison.

Martin is due to appear before the court, via video-link, on 18th September.

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