South Shields woman and Jarrow man caught with cannabis supply after getting pulled over near Tyne Tunnel

A former couple have kept their freedom after a traffic stop exposed their connection to cannabis supply.

By Karon Kelly
Monday, 17th January 2022, 5:04 pm

Graeme Charlton and Sarah Bowman were pulled over in a car near the Tyne Tunnel in 2019 and police noticed a strong smell of the drug.

Newcastle Crown Court heard a search revealed five packages of cannabis under the passenger seat and Charlton had £3,443 in cash.

At their home, almost two kilos of cannabis was found, along with £3,965 cash, a debtors list and scales.

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The pair both pleaded guilty.

Both pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis and have now been given suspended prison sentences.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said it was at 1.25pm on June 6, 2019, that police stopped a Renault being driven away from the Tyne Tunnel by Charlton.

Mr Wardlaw said the amount of drugs recovered indicated "mid-level drugs supply".

The total value of the seized drugs was up to £9,700.

Graeme Charlton.

When interviewed, Charlton, 31, of Elm Street, Jarrow, said he was a heavy user and had bought it in bulk after the discovery.

Bowman, 27, of Mariners Cottages, South Shields, said they were just on their way to the shops and denied having knowledge of the cannabis in the car.

But they both went on to plead guilty to the charge and have each been sentenced to six months, suspended for two years.

Charlton was given a rehabilitation requirement and Bowman was put on a two-month curfew.

Sarah Bowman.

Prosecutors have now launched proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any assets the pair may have.

Shaun Routledge, for Charlton, who said he was a heavy cannabis user at the time, has now reduced his consumption and is remorseful

Bowman, who was a care worker until recently, pleaded guilty on the basis she had been manipulated by Chartlton and ended up helping him.

Jonathan Cousins, for Bowman, said: "She bitterly regrets becoming involved in a relationship with Mr Charlton at all and she certainly very much regrets becoming involved in his activities.

"When arrested she immediately ended the relationship with him and has had nothing to do with him since."

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