Teens caught selling drugs outside school

Two teenagers were caught selling drugs near Ormiston Sudbury Academy by undercover police, a court heard.

Benjamin Clauson, 18, of East Street, Sudbury, and Jason Newman, 18, formerly of Waldingfield Road, were caught following a tip-off from a member of the public.

On Monday, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard that on Saturday, November 3 – in half-term – Pc Dean Bailey went to Tudor Road in plain clothes after receiving information about a drug deal.

Nikki Miller, prosecuting, said: “He saw two males, one being Newman. He stopped both for a drug search and, in searching Newman, found a small bag containing herbal cannabis.

“Clauson was seen on the school playing fields near to a group of males that had been identified earlier and Pc Bailey told them to stay where they were.

“Clauson ran off and was followed by Pc Bailey, who shouted for him to stop but he kept running. He was detained a short while later.”

Newman was arrested for possession of cannabis after three small bags were found on him, while Clauson, who had no drugs on him, was arrested for his involvement and for running off.

Searches of their homes discovered cannabis at Clauson’s house and a set of scales at Newman’s.

The value of the drugs was estimated at around £5 to £10 per bag and both youths admitted all offences when interviewed by police.

The court heard that neither defendant had any previous convictions, but Newman had a warning for possessing cannabis resin from 2011 and Clauson had a warning from 2011 and a caution from July 2012 for similar offences.

David Cason, in mitigation for Newman, now of Stradishall, said: “He has got himself into a bit of trouble living in Sudbury, so his family moved him to get him away from the people he was involved with.”

Mr Cason said his client, who is currently unemployed, is interested in joining the RAF or US Air Force.

Nick Jennaway, in mitigation for Clauson, said: “He has given small amounts of cannabis to friends before but denies he has ever sold it for financial gain or as a lifestyle.

“He fled the scene as he was scared of the police.”

Mr Jennaway said Clauson lives with his mother and attends West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.

“He has got involved with some influences that haven’t helped and have led to offending behaviour,” he said.

Fiona Crabtree, presiding magistrate, sentenced the pair to 12-month community orders and ordered them both to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Newman, who pleaded guilty to possession and being concerned in the supply of cannabis, was ordered to do 40 hours of unpaid work.

Clauson, who admitted possessing and being concerned in the supply of cannabis, as well as obstructing a police officer, was given a 16-week curfew, during which he will be monitored by an electronic tag and must be at his mother’s address between 7pm and 7am.

Caroline Wilson, principal at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, said: “These were not former pupils and there isn’t an issue here with drugs at all.”