Train conductor catches South Shields man with ‘spice’ drug in Northern Rail toilet at Hartlepool

A train conductor called the police after spotting a suspicious South Shields man who had got on a Northern Rail service at Hartlepool.

By Michael Drummond
Tuesday, 09 July, 2019, 16:45

After noticing that John Brennan had spent 15 minutes in the train toilet, the member of train crew went in afterwards and found a small bag of the illicit drug Spice hidden in the bowl.

Police were called to the 6.30pm Newcastle-bound service on March 13 and Brennan was arrested for drug possession, a court heard.

Brennan, 32, of Madras Street in South Shields, pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B drug at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

When police examined the drugs package they identified it as 0.29g of Spice.

Spice is a synthetic cannabis drug that has become popular in the UK, particularly in prisons.

Defence solicitor Joanne Gatens said that Brennan has a long history of drug abuse but has managed to rid himself of a heroin addiction,

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“He tells me that he’s not using any drugs at any longer.

“Recently found out that he has lost three friends to heroin very recently and that has caused him to re-evaluate his life.

“He is making very good progress.”

Brennan, who has convictions for 89 offences, served a 42 month prison sentence earlier in his life.

His solicitor said he is keen not to return to custody ever again.

Brennan was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.