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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Cumbrian man caught with hard drugs in alleyway

A man caught with a bag of hard drugs in an alleyway told police he had stumbled across it after going down there to relieve himself behind a hedge.

Grant Thompson later changed his story and said he had been looking after the cocaine and ecstasy – both class A drugs – for someone else. That explanation was not accepted by the prosecution at Carlisle Crown Court, which claimed the drugs were his and he would have gone on to sell them if he had had the chance.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said he was “sceptical” of Thompson’s explanation, because the bag contained drugs, digital scales and other equipment that showed it was “a street-level dealing kit”.

“The dealer in question is not Mr Thompson’s dealer, but is in fact Mr Thompson himself,” he said.

But after hearing sworn evidence from Thompson, the judge, Recorder Kevin Grice, accepted that what he said was true and sentenced him accordingly.

The 24-year-old, from Castle Vaults Yard, Castlegate, Cockermouth, said that a drug dealer had pressurised him into looking after the drugs as a way of paying off money he owed.

He said he had fallen into debt because of a gambling habit which was so severe that he had written to bookmakers in the area asking them not to serve him.

Thompson pleaded guilty to possessing both cocaine and ecstasy with intent to supply them, but he said the only way he would have supplied the drugs was by returning them to the dealer who had given them to him.

Recorder Grice accepted this, but told Thompson: “I understand the pressure you were under, but you made a very serious error of judgement in succumbing to this temptation.

“If you ever do anything like it again you will go straight to prison, and if it involves class A drugs you will go straight to prison for a very long time indeed.”

Thompson was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to undergo 12 sessions at an attendance centre.

He was also made to pay a £100 victim surcharge and put under an electronically monitored curfew to keep him indoors at home from 7pm to 7am every night for the next four months.

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