Man caught with tennis balls containing drugs outside prison fence

Ipswich Crown Court

James Byrne was given credit at Ipswich Crown Court for trying to turn his life around - Credit: Archant

A 33-year-old Bury St Edmunds man who was found near a perimeter fence of a Suffolk prison with two tennis balls containing drugs has been given a suspended prison sentence.

James Byrne was detained by a prison officer who was patrolling an area at HMP Highpoint at Stradishall which was a regular spot for “throw overs”, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When he was searched Byrne was found to have two tennis balls in his pocket containing a total of 34.6g of cannabis,15g of tobacco and rolling papers.

The tennis balls had been cut open and resealed with tape.

 Byrne, of Lambourne Close, Bury St Edmunds, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply on December 22 last year.

Sentencing him to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, Recorder Jeremy Benson said he felt able to suspend the sentence because of the efforts Byrne had made to turn his life around.

Byrne was also ordered to do 120 hours' unpaid work and was given a curfew, a rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £600 costs.

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Charles Judge, for Byrne, said that since the offence his client had stopped using drugs and had not reoffended.