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.

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.

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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,

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

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“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.