Drug dealer went on run for two years after panic attack

Shane Mason

Shane Mason jailed for drugs offences - Credit: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

A Norwich drug dealer went on the run for two years after claiming he suffered a panic attack coming to court.

Shane Mason, 47, was arrested in November 2018, after being caught drug dealing in the Sussex Street area of the city.

But Norwich Crown Court heard that he failed to turn up for his hearing in December, 2018 and went on the run until his arrest in May 2021 in Wroxham Road, Sprowston, when he was arrested for another drug offence.

Mason, of no fixed address, admitted possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine on November 21 2018. He also admitted a bail offence by not turning up for his court date more than two years ago.

Stephen Cooke, prosecuting, said that when Mason was arrested back in 2018 he was found with 13 wraps of drugs and £205 cash. When his phone was searched, police discovered drug dealing messages including threats made towards him and his family from someone higher up the drug supply chain.

He said that Mason then failed to turn up for one of his court hearings, in December 2018 and  it was not until May this year  that he was found, when he was arrested for another drugs matter,  which had since been dealt with.

Rob Pollington, for Mason, said that his misuse of drugs was behind his offending.

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He said that he had managed to keep off drugs for 16 years but had then relapsed and ran up a drugs debt..

He said that Mason was given a choice to deal drugs to pay off the debt and threats were made towards him and his family.

Mr Pollington said that Mason had gone on the run after getting a panic attack on the way to attend court.

He said that he was taken ill with a panic attack and had to go to hospital to be treated.

Mr Pollington said: "He then decided to abscond himself. There was no excuse."

Jailing him for 27 months and two weeks, Recorder Douglas Edwards QC said Mason had absconded for some length of time.

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