Sunderland drug user surprised police by owning up after sock incident

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The police ‘weren’t the slightest bit interested’ in him until his confession

A substance user readily put his foot in it with police when a pal pulled out a sock and appeared to do a drug deal in Sunderland city centre.

Wayne MacLeod, 40, who was not involved in the apparent illegal transaction, later shocked an officer by merrily admitting, “I’ve got drugs, too”.

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MacLeod, of Esplanade West, near the University of Sunderland, was part of a group being watched by an undercover team in Market Square at 11.30am on Friday, March 8, a court heard.

They were confronted after the suspected drug deal was done– and MacLeod’s home was the first of two to be searched, prosecutor Ruth Foster said.

She added: “A search was carried out and that was at Esplanade West. A bag of cannabis was seized from the front room of the property.

“Officers had earlier been directed to Hay Street by CCTV operators, and they searched an address there.

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“While carrying out the search, the defendant said, ‘I’ve got drugs, too’, and handed them over white powder which he said was amphetamine for personal use.

“It was a fairly small amount. The offence carries up to 26 weeks in custody, but this offence is at the lower end of the scale.”

MacLeod, who has 13 previous convictions from 19 offences, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of controlled drugs.

He has four drug matters on his record, but none since 2013, and was last before a court in August 2020.

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Jason Smith, defending, said: “The police officer wasn’t the slightest bit interested in Wayne, he was searching the person who had an item out of his sock.

“Wayne was open and honest and said, ‘I’ve got a little bit of amphetamine on my person’. The officer said, ‘Thank you very much’.

“They searched his house and found some cannabis. He said it was for personal use and that he was sorry.

“He doesn’t have a problem. He uses it occasionally for personal use.”

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Magistrates sentenced MacLeod, who is on state benefits, to a six-month conditional discharge, with £85 court costs and a £26 victim surcharge.

They ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

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