Suspended sentence for "heinous offence"

Man recorded travelling on M1 at over 100mph 'got carried away' listening to music

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A 47-year-old man has been told that heroin possession is a heinous offence.

Piotr Dragankiewicz, of Delaware Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a Class A controlled drug, in charge of a vehicle when unfit through drink or drugs and no driving licence at a previous hearing in July last year.

After sentencing was deferred to see if the defendant could stay off drugs, Dragankiewiz re-appeared at Craigavon Courthouse on December 31, 2021.

A previous court hearing explained how police were alerted to the defendant after he parked his car at a filling station in Portadown and he seemed nervous when police were nearby on July 18, 2020.

The defendant – who was said to be sweating and shaking due to police presence – confirmed he was the driver of the vehicle and three tin foil wraps of suspected heroin were located in his wristband.

Furthermore, one more wrap was found in the pocket of a jacket belonging to Dragankiewicz at the rear of the vehicle and he was subsequently arrested.

At the previous hearing, defence barrister David McKeown insisted that the offences were due to his client suffering a personal tragedy and that he found “a foolish way” of dealing with it.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Heroin possession is heinous and you put other road users at risk.”

For the drug possession and in charge offences, the defendant was imposed with a three month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.

The defendant was disqualified from the roads for six months and a destruction order for the drug was imposed.

A forfeiture order for the vehicle was also made, with the defendant fined £100 for having no driving licence.

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