Passenger ‘knew nothing’ about cannabis in Rugby friend’s car

Warwick Crown Court sits at the justice centre in Leamington
Warwick Crown Court sits at the justice centre in Leamington

The smell of cannabis was “overpowering” when police officers stopped a car carrying two Rugby men near the Welsh border, a jury has heard.

But although driver Triston Dickens admitted possessing £2,700 worth of skunk cannabis with intent to supply, passenger Lewis Grant said he knew nothing about it.

And following a trial at Warwick Crown Court, Grant, 21, of Grosvenor Road, Rugby, was found not guilty.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for a further offence of possessing the class B drug Naphyrone, which he had admitted.

Dickens, 26, of Butlin Road, Rugby, who was not in the dock during Grant’s trial, will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutor Amy Jacobs said that in May last year the police pulled over Dickens’s blue Ford Focus which was travelling towards Monmouth on the A40.

They noticed a strong smell of cannabis, and under the spare wheel in the boot was a carrier bag containing 270 grams of skunk cannabis worth around £1,500 in bulk or with a street value of £2,700.

Miss Jacobs pointed out that the cannabis, which still had a strong smell in court despite being in a sealed exhibits bag, was enough to make 1,350 average spliffs and would last a heavy user four-and-a-half months.

In the central console of the car was a cannabis grinder, and when Grant was asked to get out of the car a small set of scales fell to the ground.

Both men were searched, and Dickens had £135 in cash on him, said Miss Jacobs.

When Grant, who had some Naphyrone on him, was arrested and interviewed he insisted he was not aware of the large bag of cannabis in the boot and was not involved in supplying any drugs.

Of the scales, which Miss Jacobs told the jury were more commonly used by dealers than drug-users, Grant said they were for his “personal stash”.

Grant said Dickens was a friend he had known for years and who had come to his home where they had “chilled out and smoked a joint”.

Asked what the reason was for the trip to Wales, Grant replied: “I don’t know – I haven’t got a clue.”

And Grant, who said he could not remember how many joints he had smoked that day, added that he did not know where they were going or that there was any cannabis in the boot.

Asked whether he sold drugs, he answered: “No, I don’t sell drugs. I work Monday to Saturday.”