Staff at a hotel on the outskirts of Norwich helped police uncover more than £17,000 worth of drugs being kept in a plastic bag in one of their guest's rooms, a court has heard.

Eagle-eyed workers at Sprowston Manor alerted officers to large amounts of suspected drugs they found in Thomas O'Keefe's room.

Norwich Crown Court heard when police arrived on July 27, 2021, they arrested the 24-year-old on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.

Eastern Daily Press:

Dilwar Azad, prosecuting, said it was after "they entered his room and found a large Tesco supermarket bag containing white powder".

It was analysed and found to be 683g of ketamine, a powerful horse tranquiliser which has become a popular recreational drug.

Mr Azad said the drugs were worth £17,075.

O'Keefe's home address was also searched and further items connected with drugs and supply were found, as well as more than £5,000 in cash.

There was a separate incident in September 2021 when police went round to do a welfare check and discovered 1.28g of ketamine.

O'Keefe, of Beccles Road, Burgh St Peter, near Beccles, appeared at court on Wednesday (24 May) for sentencing having admitted possession with intent to supply ketamine and possession of a controlled drug of Class B.

Ian James, mitigating, said O'Keefe became addicted to ketamine at a young age and had suffered from bullying and mental health difficulties.

But he insisted he had shown a "willingness to change" and put "years" of drug addiction behind him and deserved full credit for his pleas.

Eastern Daily Press:

Judge Alice Robinson imposed a 12-month community order made up of 200 hours unpaid work, 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and a six-month drugs rehabilitaton requirement.