A pensioner from Dorset who admitted smuggling 30 kilos of cannabis powder into the UK via Portsmouth ferry port has been jailed for three years and nine months. Robert Coulson, 71, of Lyme Regis, was arrested by Border Force officers shortly after arriving on a ferry from Caen in November.
He pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court. His car was stopped and searched on his arrival at Portsmouth, Coulson told officers he spends three months of the winter in Morocco because of his arthritis and was returning for a medical appointment.
Shortly afterwards officers found a quantity of powder hidden inside four tyre inner tubes in the car’s spare wheel compartment. This was tested and found to be cannabis.
Around 65 cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment has been seized from a house in Bell Road Maidstone. A 45 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and released on bail until March.
VIDEO: They've both endured the agony of needlessly losing their sons to drug addiction. Today they joined forces to try to prevent other mums suffering the way they have. Martin Dowse reports. You can contact a drugs helpline here.
Kent Police uncovered three different cannabis factories with up to 900 plants found, worth an estimated street value of £360,000. One of the discoveries was made in Strood where 165 plants were discovered. The house was due to be repossessed, and police attended after a call from a bailiff.