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West Dorset pensioner had £168k of ‘hash’
1:00pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
A WEST Dorset pensioner has admitted trying to smuggle £168,000 worth of cannabis through Portsmouth ferry port.
Robert Coulson, 71, admitted being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of duty on prohibited goods when he appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
Coulson, of Anning Road, Lyme Regis, was stopped by officials at the port on November 3 with 29kg (64lbs) of the drug when he was returning from Morocco.
The court was told that cannabis was hidden in four inner tubes in the spare wheel compartment of his car.
He was stopped at 6.30am after arriving on the ferry from Caen.
Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told Portsmouth magistrates that Coulson, who suffers from arthritis, had spent time in Morocco before travelling to Portsmouth via Caen when he was caught on November 3.
Mr Fletcher said: “The Border Agency say they found a quantity of powder which turned out to be hash – cannabis – in four inner tubes in the spare wheel compartment in the boot of the vehicle. It has been tested positive for cannabis. There is some planning.
“He admitted, I believe, in interview, he knew what he was doing. He’s brought it here knowingly.”
Coulson was released on bail to be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court in late January.
The UK Border Agency confirmed that Coulson had pleaded guilty to the charge and would be sentenced at a later date.