‘Nice to have satisfied customer’ judge tells remand accused

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A judge said it was “nice to have a satisfied customer” after a man accused of drugs offences said he didn’t mind staying in prison where he is on remand.

John Edward Bartlett (32), of Belfast Road, Comber, appeared via video link from Maghaberry Prison at Ballymena Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

District Judge Liam McNally noted efforts to get him a bail address had faltered and the case had been adjourned to Thursday’s sitting to see if that could be rectified.

When it was heard there was no update on the situation, Bartlett told the judge: “I don’t mind staying in here until the court date, as long as it is not six or seven months”.

Judge McNally replied: “It is good, but not that good” before adding: “It’s nice to have a satisfied customer”.

The judge remanded Bartlett in continuing custody until August 24 and the defendant said that was good because he might get out then to watch “the fight” which was believed to be a reference to the big Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather boxing match on August 26.

Bartlett is charged in relation to an alleged ‘cannabis factory’ near Larne.

He faces six charges relating to a drugs find at Raloo on November 20 last year.

The charges include: possession of cannabis; cultivating cannabis at Raloo; being concerned in the supply of cannabis; producing cannabis; criminal damage to a ceiling and floor of a property and dishonestly causing electricity to be diverted at Raloo.

No further details were given to the court but previously police said they recovered over 240 plants from a ‘cannabis factory’ in Raloo on November 20.