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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Carlisle man imported Valium tablets

A young Carlisle man has been given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted illegally importing 1,000 Valium tablets from Pakistan.

Jake McCormick, 21, was caught after customs officers intercepted a parcel that was being sent to his home in Westville, Harraby.

At Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Laura Nash told how the Class C drugs were in one of several suspicious packages seized by UK Border Agency officials on July 17 last year.

Judge Paul Batty QC imposed a 10-month jail term on McCormick, suspended for two years, as well as 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.

“It was examined and shown to contain 1,000 tablets which were later identified as diazepam [Valium],” Miss Nash told the court.

Police arrested the defendant and searched his home, McCormick telling the officers that they would find 10 diazepam tablets in a tin inside his wardrobe.

He later claimed one of his friends – somebody he refused to name – had told him a package would be delivered to his address but said he had no knowledge of what it would contain and had not asked any questions about it.

“But he accepted that he had used Valium in the past but continued to deny involvement in the ordering of that package,” said the barrister.

The court also heard from a probation officer who had spoken to the defendant. He told Judge Paul Batty QC that McCormick felt that what happened was a dreadful mistake but he fiercely maintained that he did not intend to pass on any of the tablets to anybody else.

“He said they were for his own use and that he hasn’t taken any since the time of this offence,” said the officer.

The court heard that the defendant’s employer valued him highly, and that McCormick was extremely sorry for what he did.

Liz Muir, mitigating, said:“He has been absolutely terrified of receiving a custodial sentence.

“He is particularly ashamed of his behaviour and the upset it has caused his mother and grandmother. His mother has found it extremely distressing.”

Judge Batty told the defendant: “Understand this: you will not be given a further chance by this court. If you attempt ever again to dabble in this sort of activity to custody you will go.”

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