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68-year-old caught driving BMW while more than six times cocaine limit

PUBLISHED: 17:21 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:21 24 July 2018

Mr Blagden was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Blagden was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A 68-year-old man caught driving a BMW while more than six times the limit for cocaine with almost five grams of the drug on him claimed he had "got in with the wrong crowd".

Peter Robotham of Humbletoft Road in Dereham admitted driving while over the limit for cannabis and cocaine, and possession of the Class A drug, at Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Police stopped him at 9.45am on May 9 on Dereham Road after the police national computer pinged that he had no MoT.

Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said: “When he was spoken to, officers thought he appeared to be under the influence of drugs, and at the roadside tested positive for cannabis and cocaine. Also seized was a bag of white powder which was 4.7 grams of cocaine with a street value of just over £200.”

Blood tests revealed Robotham to be six-and-a-half-times the legal limit for cocaine and over the limit for cannabis.

His last conviction was for production of cannabis in February of last year.

James Burrows, mitigating, said Robotham’s driving ban would have a “knock-on effect” on his 33-year-old daughter, who had heart problems and a pacemaker and relied on her father for transport.

“He is a retired gentleman,” Mr Burrows added. “In terms of his drug usage he candidly tells me cannabis is something he has used for the vast part of his adult life, assisting him in more recent years with his joint pains.

“With regard to the cocaine he tells me he was introduced to this drug a few months ago, getting in with the wrong crowd and wrong people who recommended he try it. He tells me the arrest for drug driving was the kick that he needed to move himself away from misusing that drug.”

He added Robotham did have a valid MoT, but the stop had been a “deeply costly experience”.

In a pre-sentence report, the probation service told the court Robotham justified his drug-driving by saying “everyone does it, but just hasn’t been caught yet”.

They added he continued to use cannabis and “had no intention to stop”.

Robotham was fined £240 for the drug-driving offences and £145 for possession of cocaine, with court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months.

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