Newry drugs death accused set to go on trial

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A MAN charged with allegedly unlawfully killing his friend by injecting him with heroin has been committed for trial to Newry Crown court.
Thirty-three-year-old Cepas Mantas with an address at Cowan Street, Newry appeared at the last sitting of Newry Magistrates Court.
Cepas, who is a Lithuanian national, was refused bail at the High Court in February, amid fears that he may leave the country.
He has been charged with manslaughter, possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to supply, and supplying heroin.
A prosecution solicitor applied to the court to have the defendant remanded into custody to appear back at Newry Crown Court on June 5, an application that was acceded to by District Judge Eamon King.
Cepas told the court that he did not wish to say anything in relation to the charges he faces.
A previous court hearing heard that Cepas allegedly killed 51-year-old Stephen Millington at his flat on the Dublin Road on January 17 by administering a lethal dose of heroin.
Cepas and the deceased, who was a South African national, had been on a two day drinking binge along with their partners at the time.
The court also heard that Mr Millington was allegedly unable to find a vein when he was being injected by Cepas.
When police called to the flat, Mr Millington was found unconscious on the bathroom floor and was pronounced dead a short time later.
During the bail application on behalf of Cepas, a prosecution counsel said that when officers arrived Cepas was holding a syringe and was initially unwilling to hand it over.
One of the two girlfriends said that Mr Millington had given the accused 40 to go out and buy drugs. The court heard that Cepas arrived with heroin power and then prepared it in solution form.
The barrister told the court: "The witness stated that the deceased hadn't injected heroin prior to this... and asked for the applicant's assistance."
When Cepas was interviewed, he admitted purchasing the drugs with the money provided by his friend.
He told police that he mixed the drugs up with water on a spoon and then agreed to inject it for Mr Millington.
“He said he asked the deceased if he was OK as he administered the injection, and got the response that it was 'good stuff'," the barrister added.
“He emptied the contents of the syringe into his arm and then the deceased collapsed."
Cepas tried to perform emergency first aid before phoning for an ambulance, the court was also told.
A barrister acting for Cepas told the court that the defendant had been full and frank in giving an account of what had happened, and said that he was deeply upset over the death of his friend.
Referring to Mr Millington, who he said had been "first in the queue" to be injected, the lawyer added: "He tried to self-administer, only when he couldn't find a vein he asked the defendant to administer on his behalf."


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