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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Prolific Cumbrian criminal caught carrying drugs

A prolific criminal was caught with drugs in his pocket when police arrested him on suspicion of burglary, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Police spotted Nicholas Patrick Petre, 36, “making rapidly away” from the scene of the burglary, prosecuting counsel Nigel Beeson said.

He was arrested on suspicion of being behind the break-in, and when searched was found to have very small amounts of cannabis and amphetamines in his pockets.

Petre, who has recently been living at either Bounty Avenue or Shortacres, both in Maryport, pleaded not guilty to the burglary and that charge was later dropped.

But for legal reasons the two minor drugs cases, which would normally have been heard by local magistrates, had to be dealt with at the Crown Court because they had originally been on the same charge sheet as the more serious case, even though it had been discontinued.

Prosecuting counsel Nigel Beeson said the amount of drugs involved – just one wrap of each – showed they were only for Petre’s personal use.

Defence advocate Mark Shepherd said Petre – described by probation officers as “a persistent and prolific offender” – had been “dabbling” in drugs at the time, but had not taken any for two months.

He said the three months he had spent with his liberty restricted under an electronically-monitored curfew should count as part of any sentence, especially since it meant he had not been allowed to go back to Workington to see his children.

“He has made significant efforts to improve the way his life is lived,” he said.

Petre pleaded guilty to possessing them both and was given a two-year conditional discharge, which means he will not be punished further if he can stay out of trouble for 24 months.

He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs, with a £15 victim surcharge.

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