Man fined for drugs offence

A Swanwick man’s dream trip to Australia is still on track after a judge decided to fine him for supplying drugs to a pal.

Daniel Cottam, 20, could have been denied a visa if he had received a community sentence, a hearing at Chesterfield magistrates court was told.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said police were tipped-off about some young men “rolling joints” behind the Devonshire Arms pub in Somercotes.

The group fled but Cottam was found nearby.

Cottam, of Windsor Close, admitted possessing 21g of cannabis and supplying cannabis on August 3. He had a previous conviction and a caution for similar offences.

Deputy District Judge Andrew Davison fined him £180, with £85 costs, and ordered that the drugs be destroyed.

“He didn’t realise that by passing some to a friend he was technically supplying the drug,” said Katie Fowkes, for Cottam.

“He was smoking about £40 a week’s worth but, since this offence, he hasn’t purchased or smoked any cannabis and he has tried to avoid those using it.”

She said Cottam planned to spend a year working in a bar in Australia from February and then travel around with the money earned. He could not apply for a visa until the court case was dealt with.