Northern Ireland news

Grandmother who brought drugs into custody for grandson is given conditional discharge

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard that Elizabeth Mary Donegan (59) went into a police station in the city last July with a quantity of Xanax concealed on her

A 59-year-old woman who brought drugs into custody for her grandson has been given a conditional discharge.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard that Elizabeth Mary Donegan went into a police station in the city last July with a quantity of Xanax concealed on her.

Her barrister argued that she had acted under emotional pressure.

Declan Quinn said: "She was being tortured to bring this material in."

Donegan, of Ross Road in west Belfast, admitted possessing a Class C drug with intent to supply.

Prosecutors said she had been acting as an appropriate adult for a grandson while he was in custody.

The consignment was discovered when she was searched amid suspicions drugs were to be passed during interviews, the court heard.

According to Mr Quinn the incident was linked to a phone call between the grandson and another person.

He said police accepted Donegan then faced emotional pressure to transport the drugs, although she was not under duress.

"Eventually she made a very silly decision to do that on behalf of her grandson," counsel added.

"She has asked me to apologise; she is petrified, shaking and very trepidatious about her position."

Imposing a conditional discharge for 12 months and a £75 fine, District Judge Mark Hamill advised her: "You tell your grandson not to let him put pressure on you again."

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