A DRUG user was arrested after checking into hospital with stomach pains – caused by 11 bags of illegal drugs concealed inside him.
Paul Richardson, of Elstree Square, Sunderland, went to South Tyneside District Hospital’s A&E department complaining of pains in his stomach.
An x-ray revealed that the 26-year-old had 11 bags in his bowel containing 72 tablets and 1.98g of a drug in his stomach.
Hospital staff performed an operation to remove the drugs and called the police.
Forensic tests showed the drugs to be Class C drug Buprenorphine – a painkiller.
Richardson pleaded guilty to possessing Class C drugs at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Claire Irving, prosecuting, said: “On May 31, the police were contacted by staff at South Tyneside District Hospital.
“The defendant was at the hospital with intestinal pain and an x-ray showed he had bags in his bowel.
“On closer inspection, there was 11 bags and the contents were sent for forensic tests.
“They contained 72 tablets and 1.98g of Buprenorphine.
“He said they were for his own use and he wouldn’t say where he got them from.
“It is unusual that he would have swallowed them in bags if they were for his own use but there is nothing to say that he was dealing drugs.”
Mrs Irving told the court that Richardson has 39 previous convictions but none for drugs offences.
Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “He has been in hospital for a number of reasons – including being stabbed in the neck.”
Magistrates were told that Richardson is due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court this week accused of breaching a community order.
They adjourned this case until October 14 to allow that to be resolved and for the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report about him.
Richardson was granted unconditional bail until then.