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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Puzzle over weapons found by Cumbria police during drugs raid

A couple were caught with a stash of weapons in their bedroom when police raided their home in a drugs search, a court has heard.

Even though Mark Weston, 39, and his wife Kerry, 42, had both previously admitted a string of drug-dealing offences, Judge Paul Batty QC refused to sentence them at Carlisle Crown Court because he was puzzled by the significance of the weapons found in their bedroom when the police raided their home in Kilnside, Distington.

The court heard that the pair were charged after police raided their home on the afternoon of April 3.

After pushing past Mark Weston, who was standing in the door to the living room, they found his wife trying to push something down the front of her trousers.

This turned out to be a bag containing £125-worth of mephedrone, a class B drug popular with clubbers, and £747 of crystal meth, a highly addictive class A stimulant so far rarely found in Cumbria.

A bag of cannabis was found on top of a unit in the kitchen. The court heard that Mark Weston was “aggressive and threatening” and had to be subdued with a PAVA spray.

Prosecutor Alan Lovett said that in the main bedroom the police found a number of weapons, including three Japanese swords, a large wooden bat, a folding lock-knife, a sword in a scabbard and a sock containing eight pool balls.

He said the pair had not been charged with any criminal offence in relation to the weapons since they were not known to have broken the law by taking them out of the house.

But he said it was “significant” that such weapons had been found at the home of people who admitted being involved in the drugs trade.

Mr Lovett told the court both of them had pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to supply crystal meth, possessing amphetamine with intent to supply it and possessing cannabis for their own use.

They did so claiming that “a very dodgy person” called Nicky had come to their house just 20 minutes before the police arrived, and offered them £20 to look after the drugs for him.

Such a claim was viewed with “some cynicism”, Mr Lovett said, but there was no concrete evidence to prove it was not true.

Judge Batty said he could not understand why Mr Lovett had mentioned the weapons if the Westons were not facing any charges arising from their possession – especially since he did not know whether or not the police had seized them.

He adjourned the case to September 6 to allow the prosecution the time to find out more about the police’s attitude to the weapons, and to give the Westons a chance to submit in writing the basis upon which they admitted the charges.

The couple were in the meantime granted bail.



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