An ex-soldier who admitting offering to supply drugs including 'hillbilly heroin' to his friends has been jailed for 10 months. Craig Adair, from Ransevyn Park in Whitehead, Co Antrim, will also spend an additional 10 months on probation when he is released from prison, after he pleaded guilty to seven drugs-related offences.
Belfast Crown Court heard that the 26-year old suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his ten-year career in the British Army which included a tour of Afghanistan, and that his offending was directly linked to his own drugs misuse. Amongst the offending was a charge of offering to supply the painkiller OxyContin - which is also known as 'hillbilly heroin' - as well as offering to supply Diazepam and cannabis.
The court was told that Adair's offending - which occurred over a period from April to July 2015 - emerged after police examined his mobile phone in an unrelated matter. Crown prosecutor Philip Henry said that when Adair's phone was examined, officers located text messages to and from the defendant "in which there are conversations about drugs ... and quite explicit offers by him to supply drugs."
These text messages contained slang terms for drugs including 'blues' for Diazepam and 'green' for cannabis. In his texts, Adair offered to supply five different substances to friends - namely OxyContin, cannabis, Diazepam, Subutex and Temazepam.
The prosecutor also said "it appears clear that the defendant's life is dominated by drugs", revealing that his bail was revoked just before Christmas when he was caught by police smoking heroin in a car in the docklands area of Belfast. Mr Henry said drugs were found during subsequent searches of both Adair's mother and his girlfriend's homes, which were conducted on August 26, 2015.
Adair admitted a total of seven charges.
Defence barrister Richard McConkey spoke of Adair's "significant" addiction to drugs, telling the court that Adair's offending was a direct result of "his own drugs misuse." Mr McConkey said that whilst a serving soldier, Adair's problems began in Afghanistan and that he experienced "physical difficulties as a result of serving in the Army."
Revealing his client now suffers from PTSD, Mr McConkey said that as is the case with many former soldiers, veterans start using painkillers which "leads down the road to requiring more and more, and becoming addicted, which is what happened to Mr Adair."
Revealing his client has tried to tackle his addiction by attending community-based programmes, Mr McConkey said Adair has had the charges "hanging over his head for a significant period of time." He also said tackling Adair's addiction was "the key to him not coming before the court again."
Irish Times/Jan.6, 2017
Photo: The Irish News
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Ex-Soldier, PTSD Victim Gets 10 Months for Supplying Self, Friends "Hillbilly Heroin"