Sniffer dog catches drug user

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A Sudbury roofer was caught with illegal drugs when he walked past a police sniffer dog, a court heard.

The dog detected the illegal substance in a bag being carried by Brett Coles and a subsequent search of his home revealed that he was growing his own cannabis.

Coles, 25, of Church Street, Sudbury, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday when he pleaded guilty to possession of a class B drug, production of cannabis and being in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed in January last year.

The court heard that Coles was stopped in Sudbury town centre on March 9 and found to be carrying a quantity of methylmethcathinone – an illegal drug.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd said officers then searched his home and found four cannabis plants being grown.

Coles had been handed a suspended eight-month prison sentence last January after being arrested for growing cannabis with intent to supply.

In mitigation, Kevin McCarthy said his client had managed to complete 14 months of the suspended sentence successfully, including a course to improve his thinking skills.

Coles had obtained the methylmethcathinone, which he had believed was a drug providing a legal “high”, following the suicide of a friend, which had left him shocked and upset.

Explaining why Coles had opted to use the drug, Mr McCarthy said: “Instead of seeking the help of his GP, he decided to self medicate.”

Coles, who had started a roofing business with a friend in November, was now beginning to have some success with the venture. Mr McCarthy said: “He is a roofer who is working every hour under the sun.”

Sentencing him, Judge David Goodin said it would be “nonsense” to ignore Coles’ breach of the suspended sentence which had been imposed for a similar offence, but because of the progress made he was willing to reduce the time he would spend in prison.

Judge Goodin activated the suspended sentence and jailed Coles for a total of three months.