Derry man jailed for NOT snorting cocaine…

YOU might have thought ‘attempted possession’ would mean trying to buy an illegal drug, but apparently it can also mean sniffing baking soda or some other white powder believing it’s the real thing. Isn’t that a thought crime? Still, this guy’s’ one-month sentence will probably run concurrent with his two assault convictions, so I’ll not get too worked up about this latest bizarre episode from the NI legal system. Hope he appeals the conviction anyway; that could be some crack – which is maybe what the judge was thinking…!

  • michael

    I’m pretty sure my wife is thinking of Dylan Moran when we’re doing it.

    Grounds for divorce?

  • Brit

    “that could be some crack.”

    Quite liderally

  • Neil

    Not meaning to do a John O’Connell here, but it kind of underlines the point I made on the other thread, our criminal justice system is so fucking ridiculous as to be totally unfit for purpose. On one hand a young girl, instrumental in the murder of a man trying to do nothing more than protect his own property gets to walk out of court having spent no time in prison. On the other you have some half demented moron snorting baking powder and getting a month for the crime of fucking up his own synas. We’re through the looking glass now folks.

  • YelloSmurf

    Speaking of thought crimes – Sammy Wilson, complete embarressment? Complete moron?

  • Rory Carr

    Exactly, Michael. I should like this one to go to appeal.

    Although less common nowadays I used often see men with digestive problems take a twist of paper from their pocket from which they ‘dipped’ an ingestion of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to ease their heartburn or trapped wind. In fact I saw a man in a pub in Luton recently who was still at it (washed down with Guinness) and had been for over 30 years. I advised him that there was now good, effective treatment available but I knew I was wasting my breath. Now he would have been better off with cocaine – at least he would have had some euphoric relief from the misery that is brought by disorders of the digestive system.

  • abu nicola

    Clearly demonstrates that stupidity knows no bounds, whether you’re a purchaser of baking products or a beak on the bench.

    hehehe: submit word is “value”

  • Pigeon Toes

    “I’m pretty sure my wife is thinking of Dylan Moran when we’re doing it.”

    Michael, if she’s laughing there are no guarantees that she is thinking of Mr Moran’s comedic ability… Also depends what you are doing…

  • Pigeon Toes

    If “it” is running a book shop , well then there is “affair” chance she may be thinking of Dylan..

  • Let me get this right, this chap was charged with attempted possession and found guilty. If true it is not only outrageous but very dangerous, the UK drug laws already cause more problems than they solve, but attempted possession gives the police the right to nick whoever they choose. Surely this cannot be true.

  • Rory Carr

    If possession and use of baking soda is to be criminalised then I fear for the future of kitchen goddess, Nigella Lawson and I must admit that I am also a wee bit concerned about my dreams of possessing screen goddess, Selma Hayek.

    “Forgive me, Selma, I mistook you for Catherine Zeta-Jones”, might no longer be such a clever defence.

  • cynic

    What was more amazing was that a Derry Jury might convict someone…or did he foolishly plead guilty.

  • barnshee

    What is more amazing is that anyone thinks this bizarre item is unrepresentative of “derry wans” Carlsberg don`t do wankers but if they did…

  • I’m surprised that people so offended by the law of criminal attempt. The guy wasn’t done for sniffing baking soda – he was done for attempting to sniff cocaine. There is a difference…

    For example – a guy goes to underworld connections and gets a gun – he’s promised its a lethal weopon – and he then attempts in broad daylight to shoot, for example, a PSNI officer. But lo, the gun was actually a spud gun, and no injury occurs.

    Now, do we go, “ah that’s funny – spud gun – couldn’t hurt a fly – off ye go, ye wee rascal!” – or do we go “you explicitly tried to buy a gun and murder a policeman. Only your own stupidity stopped a murder. But you clearly tried to murder him. So attempted murder it is?”

    You tell me…

  • kmac

    Where does it mention baking soda? It was more than likely methadone, a popular, potent and totally legal cocaine ‘look-alike’.

  • kmac

    Sorry, ‘methadrone’ not ‘methadone’.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    It doesn’t mention baking powder, though I never said it did. But it was not “more likely” methadone than anything else; it could have been Beecham’s powders for all we know.


    The difference between the case at the top and your comparison is that your story has a victim but the real one doesn’t.

  • Gonzo

    But actual possession has no more a victim than attempted possession. Or put another way – the victim of the attempted shooting is no more a victim than that of the attempted possession. Or, if you lie, there’s plenty of crimes don’t have victims in the accepted sense.

    What you are arguing is abolition of the drug laws. Which is fine, and I’d be a supporter.

    But that’s a different argument. The point is that their is nothing particularly surreal about the laws of crimninal attempt. There’s any number of cases of people being done for the attempted theft of the contents of safes or vans that in the event contained nothing to steal.

    I’m just surprised that so many people seem so incredulous….

  • Belfast Gonzo


    I can see where you’re going, but this is criminal attempt where the perpetrator and victim are one and the same. You are talking about where they are different people, where one person attempts to commit a crime against another.

    What if the perp tried to shoot himself with the spud gun thinking it’s a real handgun? Does he get done for attempted illegal possession of a firearm? If I sell you some ‘moonshine’, and the police raid your house and it actually turns out to be duty-paid vodka, I’m not convinced you should go to jail for a month.

    When there is no victim and no intent to harm another party, it seems slightly odd to prosecute. Or perhaps we should bring back the law against suicide?

    Still, you make some interesting points.

  • westone

    this case isnt the first time something like this has happened.i remember(over 10 years ago)a guy being stopped with pills he’d bought as ecstacy,on testing it seems he’d been stroked and the pills contained no E,and he was charged with ”attempting to possess ecstacy”.it was a guy from belfast and was in local papers.the case stuck in my mind because i thought it was hilarious that he was being done for ‘attempting’ to possess.

  • Neil

    A titter of wit would tell you that not holding your hands up and asking for legal representation (always good advice not matter what the situation) should ensure you won’t be found guilty. It obviously was not a controlled substance, or he would have been charged with possession of a controlled substance instead of attempted possession of a controlled substance. Therefore, a perfectly reasonable explanation is that you enjoy sinus pain and were inducing such through snorting baking powder/beechams etc.

    Once again, always ask for a solicitor folks, on arrival and whatever you say – say nathin.