Sunderland drug user returned to heroin for first time in eight years to ease toothache

Police got a Kinder surprise when they searched a drug user after his arrest.
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For they found a chocolate egg stuffed between Mark Dees’ buttocks containing heroin.

To spare his blushes, Dees, 48, of Collingwood Court, Sulgrave, Washington, claimed he discovered it in the friend’s car he was driving illegally.

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But he was also found with a small bag containing a separate stash of the Class A illegal substance, a court heard.

The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court. The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The drugs were uncovered when he was pulled over in the blue Ford Mondeo in Hodgson Terrace, Sulgrave, on Thursday, February 20.

Magistrates were told he turned back to his former heroin use for the first time in eight years as a one-off to counter toothache.

They have now handed him a 12-month conditional discharge after believing his excuse and hearing his guilty plea to possession of drugs.

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But they also hit him with fines and court costs of £237 after he admitted driving without insurance and without a licence on the day of the drugs bust.

Prosecutor Grace Taylor told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “Officers had cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle.

“On speaking to him, they saw a small bag of brown powder which the defendant said was his own heroin for his own use.

“Checks showed that he didn’t have a substantive driving licence or insurance.

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“On arrival at the police station, he was searched, and a Kinder egg was found between his buttocks.

“It contained three wraps of brown powder. He said to the effect that he had found it in the car.”

The court heard Dees had 15 previous convictions from 42 offences, his last in 2012 for assault with one for heroin possession.

Robin Ford, defending, said: “He’s been on methadone for eight years and hasn’t had any need of heroin.

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“About three weeks before this incident, he had his top teeth removed, due to previous heroin use.

“He used up all his prescribed drugs and knew that heroin would take away the pain, which is what he did.”

Dees was fined £120 for driving without insurance, with £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge, and six penalty points.

There was no separate penalty for driving without a licence.

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