Ex-soldier is jailed over drugs offences

The justice system

The justice system

An ex-soldier who admitted offering to supply drugs – including “hillbilly heroin” – to his friends was jailed yesterday for 10 months.

Craig Adair, from Ransevyn Park in Whitehead, will 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 (PTSD) as a result of his 10-year Army career 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”.

The prosecutor also said “it appears clear that the defendant’s life is dominated by drugs”, revealing that his bail was revoked just before Christmas when he was caught by police smoking heroin in a car in the docklands area of Belfast.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey revealed his client now suffers from PTSD. He said that many former soldiers start using painkillers, which “leads down the road to requiring more and more, and becoming addicted, which is what happened to Mr Adair”.