Sunderland Echo

Man had drugs stashed 'in his private area' after police stop car

- Gareth Crickmer­ @sunderland­echo

A severely injured road smash victim was caught with his cocaine stash hidden down his pants after his arrest.

David Churchill, 25, had 37 drug wraps concealed “in his private area” when stopped in a vehicle in Station Road, Houghton, prosecutor Mike Lawson told a court.

Police suspected Churchill, of The Water House, Hetton, planned to sell them but could find no evidence of dealing on his confiscate­d mobile phone.

At South Tyneside Magistrate­s’ Court, which he attended in a wheelchair, he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of cocaine on Saturday,

November 5.

Mr Lawson said: “The facts are that police were on mobile patrol in the Sunderland area.

“A vehicle the defendant was a passenger in activated the police on board ANPR because the vehicle had been used for dealing drugs.

“It was stopped. He was acting very nervously which aroused the suspicion of the police.

“There was a female driver who couldn’t produce documentat­ion, and another person turned up with documentat­ion who was known for drugs’ matters.

“The defendant was searched, and 22 plastic wraps and 15 foil wraps were found containing cocaine.

‘They were in his private area. They were tested and

found to be cocaine.

“He was arrested on intent to supply but other informatio­n

was not available.”

Churchill has 23 previous conviction­s but no other

drug matters on his record and has not been in trouble since early 2021.

Heather Bolton, defending, said: “He’s in a wheelchair as a result of a road traffic accident.

“This resulted in depression and in him using cocaine, he got into quite a bad habit in a short space of time.

“He was arrested in relation to supply but nothing was found on his phone.

“As a result of his arrest he has made radical changes.

"The day after his release, he went to Wearside Recovery and has stopped his drugs use altogether.”

District Judge Zoe Passfield fined Churchill £180, with £85 court costs and a £72 victim surcharge.

She told him: “I’ve got to say that I can only think of one reason why someone would have 37 separate wraps of cocaine in a car.”

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