Derry judge will consider granting anonymity orders in future drugs cases

A District Judge has said he will consider granting anonymity orders in drugs cases.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment during a preliminary enquiry by 41-year-old Daniel Gerald Doherty at Derry Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Doherty, of Liscannor Park, is charged with possession of Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply on November 5 last year.

He is further charged with simple possession of the drugs and criminal damage on the same date.

It was accepted that there was a case to answer and Doherty said he did not wish to call any witnesses or make any statement at this stage.

Defence solicitor Kevin Casey applied for the defendant’s address not to be published as it would then be made public to Republican Action Against Drugs and his client be under threat.

However Mr McElholm said the difficulty with the application was that it was already “public knowledge” because of previous court appearances.

He said in future if an application was made at a very early stage with such cases he would “be considering granting anonymity orders” for the defendants.

The judge told Mr Casey the decision whether to print the defendant’s address was “entirely up to the press”.

Doherty was returned for trial and released on continuing bail to appear at the Crown Court for arraignment on August 29.