First-time cannabis user caught drug driving after member of the public phones police

A first-time cannabis user who took it hoping to relieve stress was caught drug driving after a member of the public phoned the police.

Paul Lambert, 49, of Lynn Road, Setchey, appeared in Lynn’s Magistrates Court on Thursday where he admitted driving above the specified drug limit.

Prosecutor Sarah Fiddy explained that on April 11, police were advised by a member of the public that they had seen somebody get in their car after taking cannabis – that person was Lambert.

Lambert appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday
Lambert appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

He was later pulled over on the A10 in Downham where he confirmed that he was the registered keeper of the Toyota Yaris he was driving.

A drug test was carried out with a reading of 2.9mcg of cannabis per litre of blood, the legal limit to drive is 2mcg. He was subsequently arrested and taken to Lynn’s Police Investigation Centre.

In mitigation, Ruth Johnson explained that Lambert is deaf, and no British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter was offered to him in police custody.

“It is fair to say it wasn’t the easiest experience for Mr Lambert,” said Ms Johnson.

She added: “I spoke to him about his cannabis use, he has gone through quite a lot of difficulty in his life and is going through a lot of stress.”

The solicitor added that it was Lambert’s first time using the Class B drug and that it was a “small amount”.

“This is not something he will do again, he is a man of good character.”

Ms Johnson explained that at the time of the offence, Lambert had been struggling with his mental health and was struggling to find counselling with a BSL interpreter.

Magistrates disqualified Lambert from driving for 12 months and fined him £80 for the offence.

He will also pay a victim surcharge of £32 and court costs of £50.