Man charged with friend’s heroin death

January 22, 2018

A Lithuanian national living in Newry has been charged with manslaughter following the death of his friend from a heroin overdose in the city on Wednesday.

Mantas Cepas (32) appeared before Newry Magistrates Court on Thursday morning where he was charged with the manslaughter of 51-year-old Stephen Millington. Emergency services responding to a report of a drug overdose, arrived at a flat on Newry’s Dublin Road just before 2.00am on Wednesday where they discovered Mr Millington in an unconscious state on the bathroom floor.  Cepas was found with a syringe in his hand and a woman in the flat told police she saw him administer heroin into the arm of the deceased.

Cepas, along with three other men aged 56, 46 and 34, and a 50-year-old woman were arrested at the scene. 

The 56-year-old man was later released unconditionally while the other men were charged with possession of a Class A controlled drug.  The woman has been charged with permitting premises to be used for the supply of Class A drugs.  All three will appear at Newry Magistrates Court on 14th February.


 Steven Millington from Newry

During police interviews, Cepas claimed that Mr Millington had given him £40 to purchase drugs and asked him to inject him.  He said he asked Mr Millington if he was okay and he replied it was “good stuff” before collapsing.  Cepas said he tried to revive his friend by throwing water on his face and performing CPR on him.

A Detective Constable told the court she agreed that the deceased “was first in the queue” to try the drug and that he had unsuccessfully attempted to inject himself before asking Cepas to inject him.

Defence lawyer, Kevin Magill, said the men were friends who took drugs together and that a drinking binge over a few days had culminated in the drug-taking, with Mr Millington paying for the heroin while Cepas was the courier.  He added that Cepas was “very upset” at the loss of his friend.

On top of the manslaughter charge, Cepas was also charged with possession of a Class A drug, possessing it with intent to supply and of supplying it to another.  He was remanded in custody to appear via videolink on 14th February.  Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall said she was concerned about the risk of re-offending and failure to turn up as the defendant had been the subject of two previous arrest warrants.