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Church-going father done for importing cocaine

Church-going father done for importing cocaine

Thursday 27 September 2018

Church-going father done for importing cocaine

Thursday 27 September 2018

Careless packing and stressful family circumstances saw a man narrowly escape a prison term when he was sentenced by Guernsey's Royal Court, after he was caught trying to import a small amount of cocaine in to the island.

Darren Colecliffe, 44, was caught with two bags of cannabis resin, a bag of cocaine and a bag with cocaine residue in when trying to come through airport customs last November.

But facing the Court, he came away with only an eight month suspended sentence and a £1,000 fine.

When Colecliffe was initially approached by Guernsey Border Agency officers last November, he denied having any controlled sustances on him, though admitted having taken “a line of cocaine” that morning - but upon inspection of his bag, the officers found two small plastic bags of cannabis resin inside the pockets of a pair of trousers.

Then, when a strip search was carried out, the bags of cocaine were found inside his cloth pockets.

Colecliffe told officers he had intended to leave the cocaine in his vehicle at the airport, and that he had forgotten the cannabis was in his bag - though when viewing CCTV, GBA officers could see Colecliffe was aware of the ocaine in his pockets, as, at one point, he took it into his hand, and changed the pocket it was in. He was charged with possession of cannabis and attempting to import cocaine.


Pictured: Guernsey Airport, where Colecliffe was caught in possession of drugs.

In total, there was 2.55g of cocaine found and 3.45g of cannabis resin, which has a Guernsey street value of between £255 and £382 and £69 and £103 respectivly.

Reportedly, Colecliffe obtained these drugs in Bristol, where he was residing at the time and working in the catering industry. He had not meant to bring them to the island, and was only planning on visiting his brother. The defendant maintained throughout the investigation that he only had the drugs for personal use.

Speaking in his defence, Colecliffes’s advocate said he had turned to substance abuse because his 11 year marriage was  on the verge of collapse, and he was having to spend a great deal of time looking after his eldest son, who has down's syndrome. As an “active member of his church community” and becaue of his family situation, it was requested Colecliffe be sentenced with a suspended prison sentence or a fine, which the Royal Court agreed with.

Judge Russell Finch said Colecliffe was given credit because of his family circumstances, his clean record, and the fact that he has worked in places of high responsibility within the catering industry. But he asserted how seriously Guernsey took drug offences. 

"Guernsey as an island does its best to defeat the misuse of drugs, and class A drugs are especially serious, but we do not feel this case suits immediate custody," he said.

"You have got a yellow card in this case, and now it is on you to ensure you never come off of the rails again."  


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