Man caught with drugs and knuckleduster avoids jail

Sam Fearn, 19, of Genesta Drive, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds was given a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court

Dominic Hamilton was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A 22-year-old man was found in possession of a knuckleduster and cannabis after running away from police when the car he was travelling in was pulled over, a court heard. 

Dominic Hamilton, of Thornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, was a passenger in a BMW which was stopped by police in Sproughton, near Ipswich, on September 30, 2020. 

After the car stopped, Hamilton got out of the passenger door and ran off, and was pursued by a police officer, David Baird, prosecuting, told the court. 

During the chase, Hamilton was seen to discard a bag, which was later found to contain 7g of cannabis worth around £90, and a knuckleduster. 

A mobile phone was also discovered, along with a small amount of cannabis in his sock.

In police interview, Hamilton admitted the cannabis was for personal use and the knuckleduster was "for protection", Mr Baird said. 

He previously pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and possessing an offensive weapon. 

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Hamilton's co-defendant, Christopher Shayler, 32, of Roman Close, Great Blakenham, remained in the car and police spoke with him. 

A bag was found with 17.5g of cannabis, worth around £150, along with a set of scales in the driver's door. 

Shayler volunteered to police that there would be further cannabis at his address, and a search revealed 61g, worth around £400, along with scales and a mobile phone. 

On October 2, the BMW was stopped again in Ipswich around 2.30pm and this time Shayler only was in the car. 

Around 7g of cannabis was found, as well as a phone. 

When Shayler's phones were analysed, the messages contained a series of requests for cannabis from early September 2020 to the end of that month, Mr Baird said. 

Shayler previously pleaded guilty to two offences of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and one offence of being concerned in the supply of cannabis. 

Shayler was allowed to read a letter to the court in which he said he did not wish to reoffend, and would be looking for employment when he got out. 

Peter Spary, for Hamilton, said his client has had a difficult upbringing and would work well with probation. 

Recorder Gabrielle Posner handed Hamilton a 15-month community order, with 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 40 hours of unpaid work. 

Recorder Posner ordered a pre-sentence report for Shayler, and will sentence him at Ipswich Crown Court on April 21.