4th Aug, 2020

Coventry woman jailed after hiding £2k or drugs internally in condom at festival

A young Coventry woman hid more than £2,000 worth of drugs in an intimate place as she tried to smuggle then into a popular music festival where they would fetch a premium price.

But despite having the cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and ketamine concealed internally in a condom, Shanice Burden was singled out by a police sniffer dog.

She was jailed for 27 months after a judge at Warwick Crown Court rejected her claim that she had been forced at knifepoint to take the drugs into the Creamfields Festival site.

Burden (22) of Alan Marcell Close, Tile Hill, Coventry, had pleaded guilty at Chester magistrates’ court to possessing the four drugs with intent to supply them.

Prosecutor William Douglas-Jones told the crown court that in August last year Burden was singled out by a police drugs dog as she tried to get into the Creamfields Festival.

The dance music festival at Daresbury in Cheshire, which attracts around 80,000 people, has signs warning that drugs are not allowed on the site and red ‘amnesty bins’ at the entrances.

When Burden was challenged, she said she had an unknown quantity of drugs concealed internally, and was taken to a tent where she was asked to recover the package.

She said she had been asked by an unknown man to carry the drugs onto the site for him.

The package she had concealed inside a condom was found to contain a bag with 27 wraps of ecstasy worth over £1,000 if sold on the site and 19 deals of cocaine worth up to £510.

There were also two bags containing enough ketamine to make deals worth £600 and seven deals of cannabis worth £140.

Three phones were also seized from Burden, and there was ‘evidence of drug supply’ on one of them, said Mr Douglas-Jones.

Giving evidence, Burden, who had paid more than £230 for her ticket in monthly instalments, said she had got separated from the friends she had gone with.

She said she had supplied cannabis in the past to fund her own habit of using cannabis on a daily basis and cocaine occasionally, but denied planning to supply drugs at the festival.

She claimed: “I was on my way in and got collared by four or five geezers who looked like gipsies. A knife was pulled, a little flick blade.

“They gave me a condom and a package. It was wrapped in clingfilm, so I couldn’t see how much there was. I went into the Portaloo. I put the drugs in the condom and put them inside me.”

Asked by her barrister Ian Speed why she had done it, she replied: “Because I was being threatened at knifepoint.

“They told me that once I was in they would take me to the toilets to get it out, and they’d give me some money.”

Mr Speed suggested Burden had been a dupe – but rejecting her story, Judge Anthony Potter said: “She had over 60 deals of drugs, including two class A drugs, worth well over £2,000.

“She says she was approached by a group of unknown males and a knife was produced and she was told if she didn’t co-operate she would be stabbed.”

The judge said her account when she was stopped of being approached by a male was ‘not consistent with what she says today’ that it was four or five men, adding: “I also consider the value of the drugs does not fit easily with an approach by strangers.

“The most significant factor is her admissions when giving evidence that she was involved in dealing cannabis and has been involved in the drugs world for some time. The messages on her phone show she had been dealing in cannabis four days earlier.

“I am satisfied this is not an individual who had been selected at random and just happened to be someone who had been dealing in cannabis just days before.

“I find she agreed to smuggle the drugs into the festival either to get money to fund her entry and living expenses or directly in return for some of the drugs. She was not an innocent dupe, but a foolish and arrogant young woman.”

Jailing Burden, Judge Potter told her: “You foolishly did what many young people have done before, which is to assume the notices plainly put up at Creamfields would not apply to you.

“You did that not because you were placed under compulsion, but because you thought you were less likely to be searched than other people. You took a chance.

“Cases of your sort at that site are so prevalent that the only way the public can be protected is with immediate custodial sentences.”

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