Council worker caught passing drugs to teenager
A COUNCIL worker caught passing drugs to a teenager while sitting in his works van has escaped a prison sentence.
Justin Norcott, 37, who works with Bristol City Council's construction services division, passed a quantity of cannabis in an orange bag to the boy on the afternoon of Thursday, April 19.
Bristol Crown Court was told that Norcott had two previous convictions for assault causing actual bodily harm and by committing the most recent offence he had breached a six-month suspended prison sentence.
A spokesman for the council confirmed that Norcott was a council employee, adding: "We will be carrying out an investigation in the light of the court findings."
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Norcott, of Vale Foundry Lane, Ashton, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis to the teenager.
Martin Steen, prosecuting, said that Norcott had been in his silver council van when he had been joined by a teenager to whom he passed an orange bag containing 16.5g of cannabis.
"When he was interviewed he claimed the bag was handed to him by the teenager, but in fact he was seen passing the bag to the youngster," Mr Steen told the court.
"The orange bag was later discovered to contain 16.59g of dry green vegetable matter in the form of female flowering heads."
Mr Steen added that a search of Norcott's van also identified some remnants of cannabis.
Mr Steen said that Norcott had been convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm in 2006 and 2011, the second of which he was given a six month jail sentence suspended for 24 months.
Timothy Rose, in mitigation for Norcott, said that he had mended his ways since his arrest and had a mortgage and a stable job which he had been in for 11 years.
He said that although his behaviour had been "juvenile" his actions did not constitute street dealing as there was no evidence that money had changed hands.
The Recorder of Bristol Judge Neil Ford QC told Norcott: "You are a 37-year-old man and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
"It is significantly complicated by the fact you committed this offence while of a suspended sentence."
He gave Norcott an 18-month community order and he must carry out 100 hours unpaid work as well as paying £300 court costs.