Defendant found on toilet floor due to drug intake

Ban for driver spotted staggering out of car and into off licence

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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Friday 24 June 2022 13:08

A prospective law student, who was found unconscious in a hospital toilet due to an intake of drugs, has been imposed with a suspended jail sentence.

The case of Rhys John Aughey, (25), of Angela Crescent, Richhill, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 22.

The court heard that on May 24, 2020, police were tasked to Craigavon Area Hospital with the male who was identified as the defendant in the toilet.

Upon police arrival, there was a large number of blue and yellow tablets suspected to be diazepam and ecstasy seized from the bathroom.

The defendant was unable to be cautioned due to his medical state at the time, with a nurse confirming that they found him in a cubicle with the door closed and leaning against it on the floor.

He was arrested two days later (May 26, 2020) for possession of Class A and the defendant gave an initial no comment interview.

The FSNI report confirms 27 Class A ecstasy tablets and 716 diazepam tablets.

In his defence, the court was told that Aughey was at the hospital due to his friend running into health problems due to taking drugs. It was added that the client was found in a toilet unconscious and had no recollection as to how he got there in the first place.

Aaron Thompson, defending, outlined that his client could have died if he wasn’t in a hospital setting and that he told probation he was “in a terrible place” during the time of the offence.

Furthermore, it was stated that he hasn’t had any issues with drugs since, he now lives in Wales and is in full-time employment whilst in tandem as a student.

Mr Thompson explained that Aughey has been accepted in a place as a law student but District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “I wasn’t aware that it was an essential requirement to be a lawyer that you had to have a criminal record and quite an extensive one at that.”

Taking that into account, Mr Thompson stressed that Aughey has got “himself up by his boot laces” and is now in education, moved away from Northern Ireland and has support from family since the offences to move on with his life.

DJ Kelly told the defendant: “There is not a single community order I can make here that is transferable to England, Wales and Scotland.

“Therefore, it has to be a custodial sentence as I have no other choice.”

The Judge imposed a two-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.

A destruction order for the drug was also granted.

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