Irish cop arrested for having 100 ecstasy pills says he found them in a hedge

Irish cop arrested for having 100 ecstasy pills says he found them in a hedge

A former PSNI officer who was arrested for having 100 ecstasy pills on his person, has denied allegations of possessing a class 'A' drug with intent to supply.

Sean Paul Race, 37, who formerly had an address in Comber, County Down, was serving in the PSNI at the time and was off-duty when he was arrested in July 2013 in the Botanic area of Belfast.

Police uncovered 100 pills and a money bag when they searched him.

When his home was searched, a small amount of cannabis was also found.

Race served in the PSNI for eight years before moving to Dublin in 2014. He returned to Northern Ireland to face the court summons.

In a statement made later to police, Race said that a known drug dealer approached him. When the alleged dealer got closer, he realised that Race was a police officer and flung something into a hedge before running off.

He also claimed in the statement that he retrieved the package before heading to a meeting at the Ulster Museum.

Race claimed that there had been continuous attempts to set him up.

Detectives also recovered the mobile phone of the defendant, and said that he had contact with two others with links to drugs.

Race's defence counsel, John O'Connor, said: "There are real concerns in relation to him and his safety.

"This is a man with no criminal record, a man who has given his version of events of how he came to be in possession of 100 ecstasy tablets."

Race was granted bail to live with relatives in Derry. He also ordered by Mr Justice Treacy to surrender his passport.