A man found to be in possession of a large quantities of drugs and money in a police vehicle stop claims he was holding them on behalf of someone else.

Darren Smith maintains he was going to make a delivery on behalf of the other person when police stopped him in Delves Lane, Consett, on the afternoon of March 25 this year.

The 29-year-old defendant, of Castledene Road, Delves Lane, admitted possession of criminal property, said to be £73,000 by the prosecution, when he made a previous appearance, at Durham Crown Court, in the case, in April.

Making a further appearance at the court today (Thursday, July 21) he admitted two new counts brought by the prosecution of possessing controlled drugs of class B and A with intent to supply.

The drugs involved were quantities of ketamines (class B) and cocaine hydrochloride, in class A.

Robin Turton, for the Crown, said all were found in a child’s backpack which contained carrier bags and grip bags, as well as the money.

Mr Turton said the defendant’s fingerprint was recovered from one of the seized notes, while examination of a phone that was also found revealed several messages indicative of drug dealing, according to a police drugs expert.

Tony Cornberg, for the defendant, said while he accepts use of the phone, he was one of a number of people said to have featured in messaging on a group site.

He said the defendant maintains he was in possession of a drugs tick list on behalf of that other, unnamed person.

Read more: Teenage Durham offender's serious crime spree motivated by need for drug money

The case was adjourned for the police drugs expert to attend court to give his opinion on the messages recovered from the phone at a Newton hearing, or trial of issue, into the defendant’s basis of his guilty pleas.

A judge will then decide if he is to sentence on that basis, or on the case put forward by the Crown.

Recorder Ian Mullarkey adjourned the hearing pending the trial of issue, on September 2, and remanded the defendant to remain in custody.

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