Drugs mule caught with heroin in pants
THOUSANDS of pounds worth of heroin was found stuffed down a drug mule's underpants, a court was told.
Rickie Bowkett was jailed for two years yesterday after admitting possession of heroin with intent to supply when he was caught with the package on his bike.
Gloucester Crown Court was told the 22-year-old denied dealing the drug, but said he was paid up to £40 to keep hold of the bundle for the night.
Bowkett told the court he picked up the package from a bush near some flats in Westgate Street, Gloucester, before police stopped him on his bike on January 10.
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Prosecutor Nick O'Brien said Bowkett was taken to the police station and later hospital after pretending he was ill. It was while he was at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital the he confessed to having 63.6 grams in his boxers.
Cash of nearly £150 was found on unemployed Bowkett, of Larkfield Road, Harrow Hill, near Cinderford.
Mr O'Brien told the court in police interview that Bowkett, pictured, said he didn't know if it was drugs or explosives he was carrying, but knew it was illegal.
He said his DNA would not be found on the package, said to be worth £3,180 on the street, which was the case.
Bank checks revealed Bowkett was in debt and there was no evidence he was living a "lavish lifestyle".
Bowkett told the court the money was from carrying the parcel and cash he had received for two days working as a window fitter.
He said he mentioned his financial difficulties to an old friend who offered him the chance to earn money as a custodian.
Recorder Ros Collins said the prosecution had not proved Bowkett was doing anything other than carrying the drugs.
She added: "What he had to say was not convincing. I am satisfied he was not being truthful, but I will accept the basis of plea and that he was not playing a significant role."