Woman says drugs find money was for Holy Communion

A LISNASKEA woman has gone on trial for charges relating to the alleged possession and intention to supply cocaine, as well as possessing cash as criminal property.
The accused denies the offences, and claimed the majority of the cash seized had been saved for her child’s First Communion.
The jury of four women and eight men at Dungannon Crown Court heard there is a further allegation of attempting to dishonestly use electricity, by having a magnet on the meter.
Nicola McGovern (30) from Lisnaskea Road, was arrested after police searched her home on 7 February 2017.
While no items were found on her person, officers recovered three separate quantities of cocaine in the house, along with small plastic bags and a set a scales, which the prosecution claim are “suggestive of distribution.” Traces of cocaine were found on the toilet cistern.
The combined total of drugs was 72.8gms, with an estimated street value of between £2911 and £4267.
In addition, a collective £1855 and €165 in cash was located in a several places.
During interview, McGovern denied all allegations put to her, claiming a large amount of the seized cash had been saved for her daughter’s First Communion.
The court heard police would later receive a phone call from a male purporting to be McGovern’s partner, claiming the drugs were his, and accepting responsibility.
First to give evidence was a police officer who attended the search. She advising the court she discovered a number of items in the pocket of dressing gown, owned by McGovern, hanging on the back of the bathroom door. A rolled-up £20 note and a bank card were recovered, both of which had traces of white powder.
A small plastic bag containing white powder and wrapped in tissue paper was also seized, as were mobile phones and a SIM card.
The officer then discovered a set of scales, also with white powder traces, in a kitchen cupboard.
Under cross-examination the officer confirmed McGovern told her £1400 cash had been saved up for her child’s First Communion, and the scales were used to measure out a herbal supplement.
A second officer confirmed another set of scales was found in the same bedroom, along with one of the cocaine packages. The drugs were wrapped up in a pyjama top, in a drawer.
In response to a defence question, he said the drugs were seized but the pyjamas were not, as he saw “no reason to do so”.
Another officer conducted a search of a jeep parked at McGovern’s home and recovered £310 cash from a handbag located in the rear, as well as £120 in the central arm-rest.
On joining the other officers searching the house, he discovered a further quantity of cash in a handbag, hanging on a wardrobe door.
This concluded evidence for the first day and McGovern was remanded on continuing bail.
The trial is expected to last into early next week.

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