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Bouncer News

Hartlepool Today

Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Hartlepool, UK


Bouncer hid drugs in sock

A Bouncer caught with cocaine hidden in his socks that he planned to sell to revellers has been jailed for four years.

Police found the stash after they were given a tip-off relating to drug dealing and searched doorman Paul Owens, 41, while he was on duty at Changes bar in Hartlepool town centre.

As well as a small amount of the Class A drug in his trouser pocket, Owens also had four ready made deals hidden inside his socks along with a wad of cash.

He tried to say the drugs in his pocket were for himself and claimed he had seized the wraps in his socks from customers in the toilets.

He said he was going to hand them over to police, but he forgot.

Yet Owens was found guilty of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply after a trial at Teesside Crown Court.

He was also convicted of possessing criminal property over £295 cash believed to be the proceeds of drug dealing.

Owens’ licence to work as a doorman has now been suspended and officials are looking into revoking it completely.

David Crook, prosecuting, said: “He was a nightclub doorman who was searched on the premises and found to have some cocaine in his pocket and four wraps of cocaine in his socks, as well as an amount of cash.

“His house was searched and similar empty plastic bags were found.

“A mobile phone was checked and there were obvious drug dealing text messages.

“Police had received information about drug dealing activity and subsequently went there and searched him.”

Owens, of Uppingham Street, Hartlepool, was arrested following his search at the bar in York Road, Hartlepool, on July 18 last year.

He had no previous convictions.

Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon, of Hartlepool Police, said: “People in the night time economy are especially vulnerable to persons who want to ply an illegal trade, and that is why it is such a serious matter.

“The supply of controlled drugs is dangerous in any environment, but when added to the vulnerability of people under the influence of alcohol it causes great concern.

“The vast majority of the door staff in Hartlepool work hard to create a safe environment in which their customers can enjoy themselves.

“In fact, it is quite often those working on the doors who notify us of people trying to supply controlled drugs.”

An spokesman for the Security Industry Authority, the national regulation body, said: “By law, all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence so that only trained and checked individuals are working in this role.

“Where a licence holder commits an offence, we can suspend their licence while an outcome is pending and will revoke their licence if they no longer meet our criminality criteria.”

Changes declined to comment on the case.

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