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Man put under pressure to deal drugs after having stash of cannabis stolen, court hears

PUBLISHED: 17:17 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:17 31 May 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A man was put under pressure to deal drugs in Great Yarmouth after his stash of cannabis was stolen leaving him £900 in debt to dealers, a court heard.

Charlie Graham, 20, had hidden cannabis under a bush in a park, but found it had been stolen and was then put under pressure to pay the cash back, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Graham told a judge that he had been told he had to repay his debt by working for the dealers selling Class A drugs or was threatened with violence.

He told the court: "I did not have the cash and did not want to bring drama on my family. I made a silly choice to work it off." Graham, formerly of Gorleston, admitted being involved in the supply of cannabis and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. The offences date between November 2017 and February last year .

Danielle O'Donovan, defending, said that Graham was a vulnerable person who had been put under some degree of coercion.

She said he also lacked maturity and said: "He is not a sophisticated man."

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After hearing his mitigation, Judge Maureen Bacon agreed that Graham's case was exceptional.

She imposed a 20 month detention order suspended for two years and also ordered him to do 200 hours unpaid work.

However she warned him that it was a last chance and usually anyone caught involved in Class A drug supply faced immediate custody.

She added that those back in Great Yarmouth, involved in drugs, should not take any comfort from the way she was dealing with his "exceptional" case. She told him; "It is your last chance. You commit anything else and you will get immediate custody."

She also took into consideration the inexplicable delay in his case coming to court and the fact that he had remained out of trouble and had completed courses.

"This is not a typical case."

She added: "I am giving you a pretty unique chance."

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