Motorcycle drug courier caught with cocaine and cannabis avoids jail
A motorbike drug courier caught transporting cocaine and cannabis in Colchester during the first Covid-19 lockdown has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Jason Beautyman, 33, pulled his motorcycle out in front of an unmarked police car on Hythe Station Road, Colchester, on April 24, 2020, without looking, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Officers in plain clothes began following the motorbike and when Beautyman stopped, one of the officers showed him his warrant card, Adam Norris, prosecuting, told the court.
Beautyman panicked and initially tried to restart his motorbike before he took off running, Mr Norris said.
One of the officers caught up with Beautyman and tackled him to the ground.
The officers immediately smelt cannabis on Beautyman and he admitted he had some cannabis on him, Mr Norris said.
He was then escorted to the police car where he admitted also being in possession of some cocaine, and four wraps were discovered.
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In total, the drugs found were worth between £420 and £740, the court heard.
A phone was also recovered after it dropped out of Beautyman's pocket during the foot chase.
Beautyman was arrested and told officers: "I am not a drug dealer, I was dropping drugs off and I need the money."
Mr Norris said it appeared Beautyman was acting as a courier, transporting drugs from one person to another.
But messages found on the phone were a "mixed bag" and appeared to show Beautyman was a drug user, transporting drugs and involved in some dealing to others, Mr Norris told the court.
Beautyman, of Elmdon Place, Haverhill, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply cannabis.
The court heard Beautyman had six previous convictions for 10 offences, but none of his previous offences were for drugs.
Beautyman, who was not represented in court, told Judge David Pugh that he had lost his job and someone asked him to drop something off for payment.
He apologised to the judge and admitted he had been "an idiot".
Judge Pugh said he accepted that Beautyman's role as a courier was for "a limited period".
He sentenced Beautyman to a total of 14 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work.
Beautyman was also ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.