A Foxford man currently in custody in relation to a drugs seizure valued at £350,000 in Northern Ireland has had his case held up due to delays in forensic evidence.
Kevin Gerard McKenna, aged 33, of Lower Culmore, Foxford is charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
The drugs, valued at up to £350,000, were found in a suitcase in a Newry hotel room in August, 2010. McKenna was arrested following the seizure.
His barrister told a Northern Ireland High Court bail hearing last week that no forensic evidence has been produced to link a car McKenna was allegedly driving to the hotel room where a co-accused was said to have been.
She claimed that Mr McKenna was now in custody for close to a year and argued that proceedings could be further delayed due to outstanding forensic material.
Mr Justice Weir described some of the current arrangements with regard to forensic evidence as ‘dysfunctional’ and said police in Northern Ireland should send work to England if the situation cannot be improved.
The judge said, however, that he was not prepared to grant bail due to concerns about Mr McKenna’s ties with Northern Ireland. He ruled that the bail application should be adjourned until after a planned preliminary enquiry hearing next month. He added that the current situation delayed prosecutions and was unfair to everyone involved, including the accused.