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Man who was 'used and exploited' when found with drugs at Sundown Festival is given chance by judge

PUBLISHED: 09:03 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 01 October 2019

File photo of the crowds enjoying the Sundown Festival 2019 at the Royal Norfolk Showground. Picture: Danielle Booden

File photo of the crowds enjoying the Sundown Festival 2019 at the Royal Norfolk Showground. Picture: Danielle Booden

Archant 2019

A man found with drugs he planned to sell at Sundown Festival, in Norwich, has been given a chance by a judge to turn his life around.

Brandon Lucas, 21, was caught with Ecstasy and Ketamine, which he planned to supply to festival goers at the event held at the Norfolk Showground, in September 2018.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said that Lucas was overheard saying that he had drugs on offer and when stopped and searched the drugs were found on him along with £701 in cash.

Lucas, of Cromer Road, Norwich, admitted possession of Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply on September 1, 2018.

William Carter, for Lucas, said that the offence was now over a year ago and said a lot had happened in his life since then.

He said Lucas, who had a number of difficulties, had been taking drugs and got into debt with his dealer, who then made him deal drugs to repay the debt.

He said that any cash he made from the drugs would have been handed straight back to the dealer when he left the Sundown Festival.

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Mr Carter said it was a familiar set up and said: "There are people who prefer young users to take their risks for them for little or no financial gain."

He said the grandmother of Lucas had since paid for him to go into rehab to come off the drugs and he had now got is life back on track and found employment and accommodation.

Mr Carter said that it would be "utterly undesirable" to undo the work that had been done,

Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Holt criticised the delay in the case coming to court, especially when it concerned a young defendant.

He said that Lucas had been "naive" and accepted he was pressed into dealing drugs.

Judge Holt said: "I think you were used and exploited."

He said that he had played a lesser role and imposed a 24 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

He said Lucas had made efforts to get his life on track and said it would be "cruel and wrong" to jail him at this point.

Ten people were arrested at the Sundown Festival this year and officers said they were pleased with the behaviour of the majority of the 40,000 festival-goers.

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