Gagging Prevents Press Naming Heroin Addict

A HEROIN user who was stabbed during a vicious attack in Ely was granted anonymity in court this week.

A HEROIN user who was stabbed during a vicious attack in Ely was granted anonymity in court this week.

Magistrates agreed to put a gagging order on the press because the man said he was in fear for his life.

The man admitted he had been caught taking heroin in public toilets near Ely Cathedral, but feared that the publication of his name and address would lead to his attackers hunting him down.

The man was stabbed in the back several times earlier this year, when he was subjected to a sustained attack near the river. He suffered a collapsed lung, a 10 inch scar on his head, broken ribs, and a broken cheek and nose.

“He continues to fear for his safety and his life,” solicitor Jonathan Masters told city magistrates as he applied for the anonymity order.

Mr Masters said the court could stop the publication of his client’s name, because there was a real risk to his life. The police also sent an e-mail to the city court; asking for the man’s identity to be kept secret.

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Prosecutor Laura Mardell told how police went to the toilets at Cannon Green in Ely on July 1, after receiving a report that the man had possibly overdosed.

He was found in a cubicle; he could barely stand and was slurring his words. Tin foil was found on the toilet roll holder and behind the toilet; police seized 0.2 grams of heroin a spoon and drug paraphernalia.

Mr Masters said that before this offence, the man had been clean from drugs for five months, following sessions with the drugs charity Addaction.

After the stabbing, the man had been bedridden for weeks, and his engagement with the charity had stopped.

“He had been taken off the course he was on, he tells me the drug taking was a one-off,” added Mr Masters.

The man admitted possessing 0.2 grams of heroin. He was fined �80 with a �15 surcharge and the drugs were forfeited.

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