Pants hid drugs

A Sudbury man who has racked up nearly 40 criminal offences was caught with drugs in his underwear and a stolen generator in his car.

Norman Collins, 46, from Windsor Place, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He had admitted possessing amphetamine, handling stolen goods and driving without a licence or insurance at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that Collins was stopped by police in Cats Lane on February 27. His blue Range Rover was searched.

Nikki Miller, prosecuting, said: “The search yielded nothing but then he was taken into custody and searched and they found the generator in the back of his van.

“Collins initially claimed to be a builder who had hired it but serial numbers showed it was, in fact, stolen.”

Mrs Miller said a lock-up in Little Cornard – used by builder Lee Baalham – had been broken into in February and tools and the generator, worth £300, had been stolen.

“Collins was taken to Sudbury Police Station and searched again. He co-operated with officers and said ‘I have some amphetamine in my boxer shorts,” said Mrs Miller. The drugs were estimated to be worth around £10.

Checks with the DVLA showed that Collins had no insurance and no driving licence.

The court heard he had 18 previous convictions for 35 offences prior to this case, including seven for theft, four for fraud and 11 for drug-related offences.

In mitigation, Declan Gallagher said his client had been given penalty points for a previous driving offence but had not sent his licence away to be endorsed as he had lost it, prompting the DVLA to revoke it.

“He has mental health issues and always has done,” said Mr Gallagher, adding that Collins’ problems included hearing voices, depression and anxiety.

“This is an accumulation of pretty minor offences from someone who is clearly vulnerable,” said Mr Gallagher.