Drugs were imported from abroad

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A NORTH Tyneside man pleaded guilty to an involvement in importing class C drugs.

Justin Fish, 41, of Pembroke Gardens, Wallsend, was charged alongside Derek Watson, 31, of Seaton Delaval, with being concerned in the supply and the importing of class C drugs in April.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charge and were convicted at Newcastle Crown Court last week.

The court heard that the drugs, which were imported from February 2010 until March this year, included temazepam and diazepam tablets.

Michael Graham, prosecuting, said that Fish’s computer had been used as a way to order drugs from abroad and he was acting under the direction of Watson.

Robert Adams, defending Fish, said while he allowed his home to be used for deliveries, his involvement was less than that of Watson.

“He is very keen to stay out of custody. He knows what he has done wrong and recognises he has been extremely foolish,” Mr Adams said.

The court heard that Watson organised the importation to pay off debts he had accrued after he became addicted to valium.

Defending Watson, Jamie Rutter said: “Having injured his back and being in significant pain he bought valium.

“He accrued debts to those from whom he was buying it, together with other debts from all courses in life, so he came to organise those importations from financial desperation.

“He is now leading a normal industrious family life and has rid himself of his drug problem and his debts are under control.”

Fish was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for two years and 100 hours of unpaid work while Watson received a one-year suspended sentence, also for two years, and 240 hours of unpaid work.