Thursday, February 04, 2016

Cannabis found hidden in dog's mouth during drugs raid

Police found cannabis hidden in a dog's mouth during a drugs raid at a flat in west Hull. Officers searched Daniel Eratt's home on the 11th floor of a block of flats in Bathurst Street after he was seen on CCTV making a drug deal on the street below days earlier. As police made their way into the building on March 2 last year, a PCSO stationed outside saw a red and white tobacco tin being thrown from a window.

It contained a number of legal substances and drugs paraphernalia, Hull Crown Court heard. Inside the flat were three men, who were arrested, along with illegal drugs, £40 cash, mobile phones, scales and other materials linked to drug dealing. The haul included five silver wraps of cannabis taken from the mouth of a dog, 4.73 grams of M-Cat, 3.25 grams of cocaine, and 5.4 grams of skunk cannabis. "Did it need veterinary treatment after being given cannabis?" Judge Mark Bury inquired of the dog. "Not that I'm aware of," said Charlotte Baines, prosecuting.

Eratt, 24, and Benjamin Wardell, 19, returned negative drugs tests, while the third man tested positive for cocaine. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Hull Magistrates' Court.Eratt admitted possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, possession of M-Cat with intent to supply, and possession of criminal property – the £40 cash. Wardell, of west Hull, admitted possession of M-Cat with intent to supply, but prosecutors accepted he had not sold any. When Christopher Dunn, for Wardell, pointed this out, the judge said: "He had his tin ready though, didn't he?" Mr Dunn said: "He did, he was good to go." Mr Dunn said Wardell's arrest had given him "the shock of his life".

John Thackray, for Eratt, said he had begun to turn his life around after his arrest, getting work at a factory and beginning a steady relationship that had lasted "six or seven months". Eratt, who had committed 26 previous offences, had never been to prison before and would find it "difficult", Mr Thackray said. He was jailed for three years. Wardell, who had committed 12 previous offences, was sentenced to a 12-month community order and must do 200 hours of unpaid work. The judge told him: "Don't think for a moment that this is the end of it, Mr Wardell, because if you don't do that work you will go straight to prison. Do you understand?" "Yes, I understand completely," said Wardell from the dock.

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