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Man who tried to swallow drugs that he had hidden between his buttocks must repay £1,000

PUBLISHED: 10:28 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:28 20 August 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A drug dealer who attempted to swallow a package of drugs secreted between his buttocks has been ordered to hand over more than £1,000.

Father-of-five Dimitrios Fotis was detained in Great Yarmouth on September 30, 2017 after his behaviour caught the interest of police.

Norwich Crown Court heard in May how officers searched the 55-year-old under the misuse of drugs act before taking him to a police station for a full strip search.

Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said: "During the search Mr Fotis grabbed a large packet of drugs from between his bottom cheeks, placed them in his mouth and appeared to try to swallow them."

The packet, which was seized by officers, was later found to contain 13.6g of heroin with a purity of 19pc.

Fortis was also found to be in possession of cash and an iPhone.

Mr Thompson said the phone's messages suggested the defendant was involved in low to moderate drug trafficking.

Police later searched Fotis's home, at Mill Road, Cobholm, and found 8.76g of heroin, drug paraphernalia and four canisters of CS gas.

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Mr Thompson said the total street value of the heroin was £2,200.

But at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecutors agreed Fotis had benefited by £1,186.39 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In an interview with police, Fotis said the cash was legitimately obtained and denied selling drugs.

He also claimed the CS gas canisters were purchased in Belgium several years ago.

Danielle O'Donovan, mitigating at sentencing, said Fotis was at a point in his life where he was determined to stay clean from drugs.

She said: "That is due, in no small part, to his care for his five children."

Fotis pleaded guilty to two charges of possession with intent to supply heroin and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Fotis was given a two year prison sentence in May, suspended for 18 months.

Judge Andrew Shaw made a formal confiscation order on Tuesday for £1,186.39 and gave Fotis three months to pay, with one month prison in default of payment.

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