Northern Ireland news

Mother and son in court on drugs charges

Police carried out a planned search at Forthill Park

A MAN who appeared in court alongside his mother on drugs charges has been remanded into custody.

Ross Wilkinson (24) from Newtownabbey was told by Judge Richard Greene QC that he will be sentenced next week for possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

He appeared at Belfast Crown Court with his 44-year old mother Joanne Wilkinson, who admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A Drug.

Prosecuting barrister David McNeill said police carried out a planned search of their Forthill Park home on November 26, 2020.

Mr Wilkinson was not present when police arrived.

Two bags of cocaine were located wrapped in a cloth bag placed within a kettle in a kitchen cupboard.

Further bags were found at the back of a cooker hood, while digital scales and deal bags were also seized.

A total of 164 grams of cocaine were located and Joanne Wilkinson was arrested.

She initially claimed she didn't know what was in the bags but said it must be something to do with her son. She later claimed it was hers and nothing to do with Ross.

He was interviewed by police later that day and said his mother had nothing to do with the drugs, and that he was looking after them for someone else.

The pair were released, but when results of a forensic examination were completed on Joanne Wilkinson's phone which revealed messages that she had been dealing cocaine, she was re-arrested.

Both later admitted charges.

Judge Greene heard they both had issues with cocaine addiction and mental health. He was also told that while Ross has nine previous convictions for drugs, Joanne has a clear criminal record.

The judge told Mr Wilkinson he would sentence him next Monday and remanded the father-of-one into custody.

He released Joanne Wilkinson on bail until the same date.

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