Northern Ireland

Tremayne Beattie and Gerard Hughes accused of drugs handover

A man charged over a £25,000 cannabis seizure in east Belfast said he acted out of fear, a court has heard.

Tremayne Beattie, 44, refused to name those allegedly intimidating him after being arrested on Tuesday.

Mr Beattie, of Greyabbey, County Down, faces charges of possessing cannabis resin with intent to supply and having criminal property.

Gerard Hughes, 28, of Norglen Parade, Belfast, is accused of supplying cannabis and possessing amphetamines.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard both men were detained after police saw a plastic bag being passed between two cars at the Connswater shopping centre.

Twenty bars of cannabis with an estimated street value of £25,000 were found after officers stopped the vehicle Beattie was in, a detective said.

She added: "He gave an account at interview and will say he was in fear and in debt to certain people. He will not tell us who these people are."

The detective claimed, however, that text messages connected to the case do not back the accused's account.

Mr Hughes was detained after his car was stopped nearby.

A quantity of white powder confirmed as amphetamines was allegedly discovered in that vehicle.

His lawyer said there was no forensic evidence or admissions linking him to the cannabis seizure.

Both men were remanded in custody to appear again by video link next month.