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Teenagers lose their liberty for drugs offences “to deter others”

Date: Tuesday 7th March 2017

TWO teenagers concerned with the supply of drugs at the Kendal Calling music festival, near Penrith, were sent to a young offenders’ institution as both a punishment and a deterrent to others, a judge said.

Kane Joseph Morgan (18), Dalebrook Close, Little Lever, Bolton, previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs — one charge relating to the class A MDMA drug and a second relating to the supply of ketamine, a class B drug, both between 26th and 31st July.

Leon John Carroll (18), Hawarden Street, also Bolton, had pleaded guilty to attempting to possess MDMA, a class C drug, with intent to supply at Penrith on 30th July; and also possessing MDMA and ketamine, a class B drug, on the same date.

They appeared at Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing. Prosecutor Mr. Nicholas Flanagan told the court that on the evening of 30th July, security officers at the festival became concerned for Morgan’s welfare as he seemed to be under the influence of drink or drugs. Morgan, who was 17 at the time, was openly carrying a bag of white powder. He was taken to the welfare tent and the bag was seized.

He was later seen with a group of men and was stopped from entering the main music event. Police were called and Morgan was found to have small snap bags containing what was thought to be drugs. He was arrested and when his phone was seized, a large amount of text messages were found which related to the selling of drugs.

In police interview, Morgan said the drugs he had at the festival were for his own personal use and when his friends wanted some, he would supply them.

The court heard that Carroll volunteered at the event, carrying bags for festival-goers, and he camped in the workers’ area at night.

Police were alerted to him at the same time as Morgan, when they were with a group of other men.

Carroll was searched and found with a bag of tablets. When asked, he identified them as ecstasy. He admitted bringing some drugs to the festival and said he bought others while he was there. He also told police that a rucksack in his tent contained more drugs. Among other items, it contained three bags containing 31 tablets. Carroll said these were MDMA, but under testing, they were found to be a lesser drug — which is why he was charged with attempting to supply MDMA.

When Carroll’s phone was examined it was found that he had made attempts to purchase £200 worth of drugs.

He had also made general searches on his phone regarding deaths related to the drugs in his possession. He described the drugs as “dodgy” in text messages and had tried to reduce the price of the these drugs when he realised their danger.

Mr. Philip Andrews, representing the defendants, said: “Both of these young men have become a little older, a little wiser and rather more mature and I can ensure your honour they are polite, courteous, personable young men who do not even begin to quite fit the typical sort of person who comes before these courts.” Mr. Andrews added that they were “silly” and became “involved in stupidity”.

In sentencing, Recorder Kevin Grice said: “If you concern yourself with the supply of class A drugs to others at a music festival you must lose your liberty. That’s not just punishment for you, but to deter others to do the same, believing that if they are caught they will only receive a suspended sentence.”

Morgan was sentenced to 21 months in a young offenders’ institution for the supply of MDMA and six months for the supply of ketamine, which will run concurrently.

Carroll was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders’ institution for attempting to possess MDMA, one month for possession of ketamine and two months for the possession of MDMA, to run concurrently.

They were each also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

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