Sunderland man spotted trying to hide cocaine in his guttering during drugs raid

A man spotted hiding cocaine in his guttering during a police house raid admitted to magistrates he had erred.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 11:45 am

Stuart Hogan, 22, was seen by a keen-eyed officer leaning out of an upstairs window in Bognor Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, seconds into the search.

It was his attempt to conceal two trays of the illegal Class A drug from the clutches of officers who had stormed inside on Friday, March 29 last year.

After being fined £40 when he admitted possession of cocaine, Hogan told magistrates in South Tyneside: “It was a bad choice to make.”

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said: “A warrant was executed on the defendant’s home address. A number of drugs were found.

“After police went inside, one was standing outside and he looked up at the property and saw a male, identified as the defendant, putting his arm out and placing drugs in the guttering.

“A full search of the property takes place. The defendant was seen to be in possession of two containers which are seen to be put in the gully. There was approximately 12g of cocaine.

‘Two other males were arrested and other drugs were in the house. The crown can’t prove that the defendant was in possession of the other drugs.”

Gerry Armstrong, defending Hogan, who has no previous convictions, said: “He pleads guilty at the first opportunity.

“He says that the two tubs put outside were his. He has been very frank with me and says that he was experimenting with cocaine.

“The other people in the house said, ‘It’s a raid’. He was very scared.

“I’m pleased to tell you that he’s put the use of drugs behind him now.

“He’s been spending his lockdown time wisely and has been taking a course for asbestos removal. He’ll be working out of the area.

“He apologises to everybody for his stupidity that day.

“There were other people in the house, other people who could have been blamed, but he hasn’t sought to hide behind that.”

Kaye Gilbert, chair of the bench, told Hogan: “Hopefully we can draw a line under this. It’s a lesson learned.”

Hogan must also pay £40 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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