Man held cannabis with street value of £110,000, court hears

British Sugar plant in Wissington is cultivating cannabis plants that will be used as a key ingredie

Benjamin Bridgwood acted as custodian for cannabis with a street value of £110,000 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press

A man who made a "foolish decision" to act as custodian for cannabis with a street value of £110,000 was arrested when he turned up during a police raid, a court heard.

Benjamin Bridgwood , 39, "stupidly" became involved in the trade despite never having anything to do with drugs before, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Simon Connolly, prosecuting, said Bridgwood was arrested when he arrived at an industrial unit, in Norwich, just as police had raided the premises after getting a drugs warrant following the discovery of a cannabis factory.

As well as plants, there was cannabis which had been harvested and vacuum packed ready for onward sale and also cocaine was seized which had a street value of around £11,000 to £14,000.

Mr Connolly said the street value for the cannabis was put at £110,000, or £40,000 retail value.

He said £2,636 in cash was also recovered during the operation, which happened in October 2019.

Bridgwood of Anchor Street, Norwich, admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and production of cannabis.

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Andrew Oliver, for Bridgwood, said it was a highly unusual case: "Mr Bridgwood had got himself in a highly unusual predicament, particularly at that time as he was going through some personal issues."

Mr Oliver said: "He made a foolish decision."

He said Bridgwood agreed to act as custodian for the drugs: "He had never been in that sort of environment.

"He knows he was wrong to become involved but at the time he felt he had very limited options and has expressed genuine remorse for his wrong doing."

He said Bridgwood had got help for his mental health difficulties and said the offences had now taken place some 18 months ago.

Recorder John Hardy imposed a two year sentence, suspended for two years.

He said the one advantage about the long delay in the case coming to court was that it had enabled Bridgwood to put his life back on track.

He said because of that he was not sending Bridgwood straight to prison.

He also ordered forfeiture of the cash seized and destruction of the drugs.

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