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Heroin carrying student from Canning Town was anti-drugs

PUBLISHED: 16:25 12 January 2012

A student who claimed he was staunchly anti-drugs was jailed for six months after he was caught with ‘crack’ and heroin.

Paul Lopo, 18, said he was just carrying the drugs for a friend when he was caught by plain-clothes police cyclists who noticed him acting suspiciously.

They had seen him do a wheelie on his bike as he emerged from an alleyway in Canning Town, then ride away quickly with a rucksack strapped to his chest, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

As they followed him down Freemasons Road at about 11.30pm on May 11, he began speeding up and took a sharp turn in front of a bus, forcing the driver to brake sharply.

Eventually an officer got off his bicycle and grabbed Lopo, who admitted he was carrying drugs.

Police found bags containing 2.7g of crack cocaine, with a street value of £276, and 3.5g of heroin, worth £377, inside the rucksack, which he claimed to be delivering to a friend free of charge.

They later found £150 in cash at his house, which he said was for his train fares to Newham College, where he is studying for a Level Two NVQ in Personal Training.

Lopo, of Oystercatcher Close, Canning Town, admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Passing sentence, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said he accepted Lopo’s claim he had been carrying the drugs for a friend.

He said: “In your own account there came a point when you knew you were carrying Class A drugs for someone else whilst riding your bicycle.

“You had the choice about what you were going to do, and you chose to become a drug courier.”

Anne Faul, defending, said Lopo was committed to a healthy lifestyle but had slipped up a month before the offence and tried cocaine.

She said: “He’s not a drug user. He wants to be a keep fit expert, he cycles everywhere and that was a blip.

“He is anti-drugs, he doesn’t take them, but he did that one time because of the stress he was going through.”


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