Fair worker had drugs in caravan

By Adrian Darbyshire in Crime

A TT fairground worker has been fined £400 for having £172 worth of cannabis in his caravan.

Robert Morris, of Arnold Place, Chorley, pleaded guilty to possessing the drug and producing it to the island, and was also ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs.

Prosecutor James Robinson told the court how, at 1am on May 30, police were at the old Summerland site where Morris was staying in a caravan while working at the fair.

They were searching for a person reported as missing but as they spoke to Morris it was noted that there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from his caravan.

When quizzed Morris admitted that he had just smoked a joint and that he also had some cannabis in the caravan.

A search of the vehicle found 8.8 grams of the drug and Morris was arrested, saying: ’It’s all mine.’

Mr Robinson, applied for an exclusion order banning Morris from the island and said: ’It’s not the largest amount of cannabis produced to the island, but this is a defendant with previous drug matters.

’The Isle of Man TT is an event known worldwide which attracts a lot of tourists and he has brought controlled drugs to the island.

’The island has taken a hard stance when it comes to drugs and it is my submission that a message needs to be sent that, when the TT puts the island in the spotlight, we will not tolerate drugs being brought here.’

The court heard that Morris had convictions in the UK for possession of amphetamines in 2008, and for cannabis in 2010 and 2014.

Defence advocate Paul Rodgers said: ’Mr Morris’ criminal record is the worst factor against him. Production is worse than possession, that’s obvious, but he admitted everything. If he hadn’t admitted it, the production evidence wouldn’t have been there. He was in the presence of his boss who is with him in court today. He is a hard worker, trusted as one of the company’s main men, responsible for managing the ride ’Snow Storm’. That ride isn’t operating because his boss is in court and he’s in the dock.

’He suffers from dyslexia and can’t read or write. He had a troubled childhood. Both parents passed away and he was regularly beaten by his stepfather. He was mocked at school for his dyslexia and inability to read or write, and was burnt by some individuals.

’He has been sentenced to fines for cannabis use and the next step up is to give a bigger fine.’

Magistrates’ chair Alan Gelling said: ’We take a serious view of those bringing drugs to our island but we are satisfied, with the guilty pleas, co-operation with police, and amount of drugs involved, the matter is not condusive to an exclusion order.’