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Man found with drugs in car by police is spared jail

PUBLISHED: 13:22 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 01 October 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man who was caught with drugs in his car after police stopped him has been spared jail.

Leo Pinto, 22, "came to the attention of police" while driving in Attleborough on January 9 this year.

Norwich Crown Court heard police found about 10g of ketamine during a search of the car after Pinto was found to have no insurance for the vehicle.

Officers also found 80g of cutting agent in the car as well as other drug-related items and £100 in cash.

Pinto's phone was also seized and found to contain references to drug dealing.

Other items, including scales and drugs paraphernalia were found following searches of the car and his home.

Pinto, of Jasmine Court, Attleborough, appeared at Norwich Crown Court for sentence on Tuesday (October 1) having previously pleaded guilty to possession of ketamine with intent to supply.

He had also admitted driving without insurance on the same date.

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Sentencing Pinto to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Andrew Shaw said he was "just persuaded" that it was not necessary to send the defendant immediately to prison.

But Judge Shaw insisted he was imposing a "punitive" order to send out a message that those involved in drugs will receive "significant" punishment.

He was also made subject of an electronically monitored six-month curfew stating he must reside at his address between 7pm and 4.30am.

In addition, Pinto was given a six month drug rehabilitation requirement, ordered to pay a £1225 fine and costs of £275.

For having no insurance Pinto was given six points on his licence which meant he now has 12 points and was disqualified for six months as a totter.

Judge Shaw ordered forfeiture of the cash and Pinto's phone and forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

Rob Pollington, mitigating for Pinto, said his client gave a "candid explanation" as to his misuse of drugs and how he found himself "falling into the works of drugs".

He said that Pinto had been selling to his peers to fund his own drug use.

Mr Pollington said the defendant "fully accepts" it was wrong but added that he had a maturing attitude and had pleaded guilty.

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