‘Dabbling’ with drugs leads to hefty fine

AN out-of-work cable puller who had “time on his hands” decided to dabble with drugs and got caught.

And now Darren John McGuiness has been slapped with an £820 court bill to pay for his wrongdoing.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard how McGuiness, 39, was stopped by police when he drove his partner’s Vauxhall Astra away from a house that was under surveillance for the supply of drugs.

He was pulled up in the town’s Oakesway Industrial Estate and as officers approached the car he said: “You’ve got me.”

Police found two wraps of brown powder and tubs of white powder which tests revealed was heroin and cocaine.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse said: “McGuiness said he’d purchased £20 of heroin and had the intention of smoking it himself.

“A few days earlier he said he’d bought some cocaine for £100 and again the intention was for his own use.

“He was also found to only have a provisional driving licence and no insurance.”

McGuiness pleaded guilty to being in possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and using a car without third party insurance on March 24.

Mitigating, Adrian Morris said: “In recent times, my client had been earning a living doing work as a cable puller.  

“He was out of work at the time of these offences with time on his hands and he was curious and slightly depressed and had been given the address of somebody who could supply him some heroin.

“What he didn’t know was this house was under surveillance by the police.

“My client made full admissions and police were satisfied that he didn’t need to go into treatment.

“He describes himself as stupid and that a lesson has been learned.”

Mr Morris added: “He will never do this again and we are unlikely to see him back before a court.

“He is now working as a cable puller again.”

McGuiness, of Hill View, Greatham, had his licence endorsed with six points, was fined £720 and ordered to pay £85 court costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.