South Shields man caught with drugs down his trousers after police stopped him over dirty number plate

A dirty number plate on a borrowed car led a former soldier to be banned from the roads.

David Turnbull, 22, was pulled over in Horsley Hill Road, South Shields, by police who had struggled to read the registration.

Once stopped, Turnbull, of Bedford Avenue, Laygate, South Shields, appeared agitated – and the reasons soon became clear.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard a search revealed he had two bags of illegal amphetamine down his trousers.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.


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And he was also driving the Vauxhall Vectra without insurance – and was unfit to do so through drugs on Wednesday, November 25.

Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said: “At 11.40pm, officers’ attention was drawn to the defendant’s vehicle.

“It was stopped, and checks revealed he did not have insurance.

“He appeared agitated and appeared to have something concealed in his trousers.


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“Two small bags of amphetamine were found. He was arrested.”

Michelle Stonley, defending, said Turnbull has served in the Army until 2018 and was still living in MoD accommodation.

She added: “He has had a number of issues in the past two years and was prescribed medication after attempting to take his own life.

“He had depression for two years and was hospitalised, all to do with relationship issues.


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“His prescribed mediation was taken away from him and that’s when he started to self-medicate.

“He was driving a friend’s car, he had been to a friend’s house that evening.

“Rather than walk the half-hour home, he asked if he could drive his car home. It was just a 10-minute drive.

“He was stopped because the number plate was quite dirty.


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“He tells me that since January his life has changed around, and he is off drugs and out of a toxic relationship.”

Turnbull pleaded guilty to possession of drugs, driving whilst unfit through drugs and driving without insurance.

District Judge Paul Currer described Turnbull’s decision to drive as “stupid” but said he was heartened to hear he was making changes to his lifestyle.

He banned him for driving for a year and fined him £150 for driving whilst unfit and £100 for possession of drugs.


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There was no separate penalty for driving without insurance.

Turnbull must also pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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