Jailed for buying the drugs that claimed his friend’s life

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One young man died and another had to be resuscitated after two friends went on a two week long drug binge, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

Kyle Vincent Burns (21), whose address was given as Bronte Park, Banbridge was given a three month prison sentence after he admitted three charges.

At a previous court he pleaded guilty to two offences of unlawful possession of a class C drug, namely 4-Mec and cannabis resin on August 30, 2013.

He also admitted a charge of possession of a class C drug, Dimethylaminorex, on the same date.

The court heard that at 6.30pm the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were resuscitating the defendant in Banbridge and when police arrived he had been taken to hospital for treatment.

There was a deceased male on the premises and evidence suggested drug taking.

Toxicity tests confirmed this was the case.

Burns recovered after some time in hospital and when interviewed by police he accepted he had bought the drugs.

He had been with his friend who had also taken drugs over the course of the previous few days.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a pre-sentence report.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, asked if the person’s demise was related to abusing illicit drugs and a public prosecutor confirmed it was.

A barrister representing Burns said these two young men were best of friends and since this there have been fundamental improvements in the defendant’s life.

He explained that they had been involved in a two week drug binge.

Burns, it was stated, had tried to resuscitate his friend prior to the arrival of the ambulance.

The barrister said that having taken drugs himself Burns was rushed to hospital and was thankfully saved.

He added that they had taken a concerted path together and were playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with these substances. The lawyer said Burns had improved over the four year period and asked the court to consider something other than an immediate custodial sentence.

Judge Copeland said he would take into account the defendant’s plea of guilty and what was said in mitigation but the custody threshold had been met, adding this was an extremely serious matter.

He added that the court treats possession of toxic substances with the gravity it deserves and pointed out that Burns had a drugs offence in the past but has chosen not to learn from it.

“Whilst you and others remain willing customers and seek out suppliers tragic outcomes are not going to go away,” said Judge Copeland.

For each of the three offences he imposed a three month sentence on the defendant with the terms to run concurrently.

Later in the court Burns was released on his own bail of £500 to appeal against the sentences.