Drugs case was one of most serious heard in Banbridge

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A judge has said that a drugs case involving a 31-year-old man was one of the most serious to come before a Banbridge court.

Jaizhu Cai, Dunleath Drive, Ballywalter, appeared at a preliminary enquiry last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

It is alleged that between December 15, 2013, and April 25, 2014, in the county court division of Armagh and South Down he was concerned in the supply of a class B drug, cannabis.

He is also charged with concealing criminal property on October 9, 2013.

Cai was remanded to appear for arraignment at Newry Crown Court on January 19.

A barrister made a bail application although previous applications in the magistrates’ court and High Court had been refused.

He said that he made this application because of the amount of time his client had spent in custody.

He had been on remand for six months which was the equivalent of a 12 month sentence. District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said during his time as the resident judge for the area this was one of the most serious drugs cases to come before Banbridge court.

He added that it was commendable the prosecution of the case had reached this stage as quickly as it had.

Judge Copeland said that reading through the court papers there seemed to be in excess of four million pounds involved. He felt there was grave concern over the risk of flight as the defendant had no stake in the community.

Refusing bail he remanded Cai in custody to appear at Newry Crown Court.