Andrew Norman charged with permitting cannabis use

First published in News by , Reporter (Sedgefield)

THE organiser of a music festival, once dubbed the Glastonbury of the North, has been forced to cancel the next event as he prepares for a costly trial.

Andrew Norman has been charged with permitting the use of cannabis at his Thimbleberry Music Festival, in Stanhope, County Durham, in September.

Mr Norman denies the charge and, on Friday, at Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court, he elected to be tried by a jury at crown court.

Meanwhile, the 51-yearold, who had thousands of pounds confiscated by police under the Proceeds of Crime Act, has cancelled his next event.

An announcement on the twice-yearly festival’s website says the June event is cancelled, but September’s is expected to go ahead.

Speaking from his home at Thimbleberry Hill Farm yesterday, Mr Norman said the cancellation was unavoidable.

He said: “The police have taken £3,513.70. Most of that money would have gone towards paying for the security and the toilets for the festival in June.

“It’s not just about the money though, a lot of work goes into organising the festival.

“I could just imagine organising the festival and then finding myself on trial the week before and I just can’t take that chance.

Now it its eighth year, Thimbleberry has established itself as a platform for unsigned bands.

Held on what is thought to be the site of a Viking settlement, the three-day event costs about £30,000 to stage and attracts music fans and performers from across the UK.

On Friday, Mr Norman was committed to appear at Durham Crown Court on March 12 for a pre-trial review and he was given unconditional bail.

Comments (5)

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3:08pm Mon 8 Feb 10

welshstoner says...

The police should be charged with discrimination. What has this poor bloke done to deserve this treatment? If people consumed cannabis on his land so what? Who has it harmed socially? Who,Outside the festival was affected in such a way as to warrant taking his meagre profits? I don't see much of a difference between cannabis consumers today and Gays and Blacks not that many years ago. This is a blatant miss-use of the Law. It's Discrimination for all to see. How could anyone support this action? It's a disgrace.
The police should be charged with discrimination. What has this poor bloke done to deserve this treatment? If people consumed cannabis on his land so what? Who has it harmed socially? Who,Outside the festival was affected in such a way as to warrant taking his meagre profits? I don't see much of a difference between cannabis consumers today and Gays and Blacks not that many years ago. This is a blatant miss-use of the Law. It's Discrimination for all to see. How could anyone support this action? It's a disgrace. welshstoner
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Mon 8 Feb 10

soccerstud_chris says...

wear valley council and the police are a joke , this event has been going on for years and for years, for the love of god give the bloke a break and give him support to make this event a success . maybe the police should start to target the pub smoking areas on a weekend to apprehend cannabis smokers and start to cage pub landlords as well , this bloke is doing something for the area as well as giving people something to do twice a year . where does it stop shall we arrest the organiser of glastonbury and all other festvals as well ????????
wear valley council and the police are a joke , this event has been going on for years and for years, for the love of god give the bloke a break and give him support to make this event a success . maybe the police should start to target the pub smoking areas on a weekend to apprehend cannabis smokers and start to cage pub landlords as well , this bloke is doing something for the area as well as giving people something to do twice a year . where does it stop shall we arrest the organiser of glastonbury and all other festvals as well ???????? soccerstud_chris
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Mon 8 Feb 10

9988776655 says...

Let's face it, the roads around there are not exactly the world's best, and a major influx combined with cannabis to impair driving abilities is bad.

PS discrimination is NOT an offence of itself (as in this case).
Let's face it, the roads around there are not exactly the world's best, and a major influx combined with cannabis to impair driving abilities is bad. PS discrimination is NOT an offence of itself (as in this case). 9988776655
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Mon 8 Feb 10

tubbytata says...

ive been to thimbleby festival a few times took my kids, never seen any major drug use , each to their own i dont suppose they going to charge michael eavis with allowing his land to be used for the consumption of illegal substances. its always friendly up in weardale must also bring money to the area good luck mr norman, hope sense prevails
ive been to thimbleby festival a few times took my kids, never seen any major drug use , each to their own i dont suppose they going to charge michael eavis with allowing his land to be used for the consumption of illegal substances. its always friendly up in weardale must also bring money to the area good luck mr norman, hope sense prevails tubbytata
  • Score: 0

12:06am Tue 9 Feb 10

welshstoner says...

9988776655 wrote:
Let's face it, the roads around there are not exactly the world's best, and a major influx combined with cannabis to impair driving abilities is bad.

PS discrimination is NOT an offence of itself (as in this case).
In regards to the roads...People were smoking inside the festival?! And, as of yet, I can't find a single major accident at the scene of the festival to date. Also, talking Mr Norman to court will do nothing to stop road accidents. Cannabis taken on it's own, has been found to lessen the risk of accidents as impared drivers slow down because of their altered state of mind. Cannabis smokers are fully aware of the risks involved and take this into consideration. As for "Discrimination"...E
very "controlled" drug user in the country is discriminated against. Why can only the drinkers and smokers have a nice time on drugs? What about the rest of us? Why are cannabis smokers treated so badly. Alcohol is far worse a drug for all it's social and physical harms.
[quote][p][bold]9988776655[/bold] wrote: Let's face it, the roads around there are not exactly the world's best, and a major influx combined with cannabis to impair driving abilities is bad. PS discrimination is NOT an offence of itself (as in this case).[/p][/quote]In regards to the roads...People were smoking inside the festival?! And, as of yet, I can't find a single major accident at the scene of the festival to date. Also, talking Mr Norman to court will do nothing to stop road accidents. Cannabis taken on it's own, has been found to lessen the risk of accidents as impared drivers slow down because of their altered state of mind. Cannabis smokers are fully aware of the risks involved and take this into consideration. As for "Discrimination"...E very "controlled" drug user in the country is discriminated against. Why can only the drinkers and smokers have a nice time on drugs? What about the rest of us? Why are cannabis smokers treated so badly. Alcohol is far worse a drug for all it's social and physical harms. welshstoner
  • Score: 0

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