In February of this year, an unemployed 34-year-old man was walking on a beach in Norfolk when he found what was later described by himself as ‘Willy Wonka’s golden ticket’: some 360 kilograms of 94 percent pure cocaine stacked nicely in sports bags had washed up on the Caister-on-Sea and Hopton beaches.
Mr. Julian Underhill then helped himself to some of the stash (2 one kilogram packages he says), worth tens of thousands of dollars and started selling it in town to make some money.
But news of his newfound wealth spread so fast among the community that he soon found himself arrested.
This week, he was tried in court for his shortlived career as a dealer.
The UK’s Prosecutor, Mr. Martin Ivory said: “The defendant in his text message to another individual said that he had effectively stumbled upon what he described as Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket and that he anticipated that he could be £20,000 to £30,000 better off as a result of that find.”
Mr Underhill’s lawyer, Mr Andrew Oliver told the court his client was not a cocaine dealer and that he sent a text to a woman in order to impress her: “He says he’s effectively bragging to a female friend, and it’s of note that he doesn’t want anyone else to know about it but these things being as they are, it obviously gets out because when one goes down the list of texts that Mr. Hamilton (the officer in the case) identified there are clearly request for him for cocaine.”
“Prior to that all of the dealings he has been doing are in relation to cannabis and it’s perfectly obvious from those messages that he is a low-level cannabis dealer. In my submission, he’s a pathetic heavy user of both cannabis and crack cocaine.”
The judge, Ms. Maureen Bacon QC, told Mr. Underhill he had come ‘within a whisker’ of being sent to jail immediately before giving him a two year suspended sentence at Norwich Crown Court after admitting possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs.