Cannabis with a street value of more than £106,000 found in crashed van on A47
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
A man has been jailed 18 months after he crashed a van at the A47, near Blofield, only for police to turn up and find a cannabis haul with a street value of more than £106,000 hidden in the back.
Marcus Webster, 42, was acting as a courier bringing 376 mature cannabis plants from Great Yarmouth to Norwich when he crashed the hired VW Crafter van, veered off the road and ended up in a field, Norwich Crown Court was told.
John Morgans, prosecuting, said following the accident, Webster locked the van and fled the scene, but was caught after concerned passing motorists, who witnessed the crash, phoned police,.
Mr Morgans said when officers attended the scene they discovered a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle.
He said they gained entry into the van and discovered the mature plants, which had an estimated street value of between £106,500 to £142,000.
Mr Morgans said Webster was arrested after his finger print was found on one of the bags in the van and he had also hired the vehicle in his own name, so was easily traced.
The court heard that Webster had previous convictions for cannabis supply.
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Webster of Munnings Road, Norwich, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis on January 12, this year, and was jailed for 18 months.
Sentencing him, Judge Katharine Moore said: 'You were engaged in transporting a large amount of cannabis from Great Yarmouth to Norwich. You hired a van and did so in your own name.'
She said for some reason he had veered off the road and added: 'This was the very last thing you wanted as you had a van full of cannabis.'
She said he played a 'significant role' in the operation.
Stephen Spence, for Webster, claimed that he had been put under pressure to drive the van
He said that Webster had a £2000 debt, which he was told he could pay off by acting as a courier.
'He hired the van and he used his own name, so the van is readily traced to him.'
He said that Webster was a devoted family man and capable of keeping out of trouble.