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Teen tried to smuggle drugs into Kendal Calling between his buttocks

Carlisle Crown Court

A teenager who tried to smuggle illegal drugs into the Kendal Calling music festival between his buttocks has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Cole Eric Sanderson, now aged 19, was stopped and searched while trying to enter the event site near Penrith on July 25 2019, several weeks before his 18th birthday.

Carlisle Crown Court was told today a drug detection dog indicated Sanderson may have controlled substances.

Some ecstasy tablets were found in the teen’s bag along with a tube of sex lubricant.

A clear plastic snap-seal bag with the words “smelly proof” written on it were recovered from between his buttocks, with two toy capsules inside containing more tablets and a wrap of ketamine.

“The evidence suggests the purposes of that bag is that it would evade the scent of the drug detection dog,” said Alaric Walmsley, prosecuting.

More pills were found in Sanderson’s car.

The illegal haul’s total value was £950 and phone analysis showed he was actively involved in offering and supplying the two drugs to others in the week before the festival. 

Sanderson admitted possessing class A ecstasy and class B ketamine with intent to supply, and being concerned in the supply of both drugs.

Mark Shepherd, defending, described the court proceedings having a “considerable impact on his mental and emotional state”.

“He was irresponsible and he was naive,” said Mr Shepherd, who submitted there was a reasonable prospect of rehabilitation. “He is somebody who expresses deep regret for what took place.”

Recorder Neville Biddle heard Sanderson, of Brisco Meadows, Carlisle, was now abstinent from all drugs, considered a wealth of background material and noted the time delay in the case.

He suspended a 20-month custodial sentence for two years, and imposed a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

“These are, of course, very serious offences,” said the judge, but he concluded: “I don’t think you pose any danger either to yourself or to the wider public.”

“Count yourself lucky,” the judge told Sanderson, who said “thank you” from the dock for sparing him prison.

“You have done all you can to improve your position. I am quite sure the court will not see you again.”

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