A UNIVERSITY student and a banker are among the latest people to be sentenced for attempting to smuggle drugs into Creamfields.

The annual music festival held in Daresbury is seen as one of the top events of its kind but a top judge had hit out about the number of cases in court.

According to Judge Patrick Thompson, who oversaw the sentencings at Chester Crown Court on Monday, the message about drugs ‘does not seem to be getting through’.

He said: “Cheshire Police have very good detection rates for catching drugs at Creamfields, but the number of cases is going up every year.

“Drugs at the festival have a terrible impact on the local community, and despite a great deal of taxpayer’s money being spent on policing, people do not seem to be getting the message.”

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Patrick Hamilton

A Biological Science university student in Liverpool, Hamilton was convicted of possession with intent to supply MDMA.

After attracting the attention of police sniffer dogs when entering the festival, officers discovered pills to the value of £1,090 stored inside two bottles of roll-on deodorant.

The 25-year-old, who is originally from Devon, said the drugs were to share with a friend at the event in their tent.

Judge Thompson said: “Young people with bright futures are throwing that away for drugs, and the fact that you are studying at university makes this even more remarkable.

“I have real sympathy with the defendant’s family who are suffering more than anyone.”

Hamilton was sentenced to 14 months in prison, of which he will serve half out on licence.

Arron Nessen

In a similar case, 26-year-old banker Arron Nessen received jail time for possession with intent to supply a class A drug with similar properties to MDMA.

Security officers stopped the defendant, who lives in Doncaster, as he attempted to enter the festival and found 50 tablets inside a box of beer.

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As part of his job, the court also heard how the defendant with no previous convictions regularly ran charity events and fundraising activities.

In sentencing, Judge Thompson said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to deal with this case, as someone of usual good character has thrown this away by taking drugs into Creamfields.

“At 26 years of age, you had a bright future ahead of you but you were tempted by the thought of making easy money and must now bear the consequences.”

Nessen received a sentence of three years and four months in prison, with half to be served on licence.

Andrew Taylor

Appearing via Video Link from HMP Berwyn, 34-year-old Taylor was convicted for possession and intent to supply festivalgoers with cocaine.

The Oxton native entered the festival with less than six hours remaining on the last day, and after a stop search, was found with cocaine in the pocket of his shorts.

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A man with an extensive record, Taylor said the drugs were for his own use and the court heard how Creamfields was his first chance for some time to get out and enjoy himself.

Judge Thompson added: “You saw an opportunity to make a few quid before the festival finished, and it is possible to make a lot of money at this festival as it is so hard to get drugs into, but you must accept the consequences.”

Taylor was handed three years and four months imprisonment, with half to be served on licence.

Fraser Patterson

Appearing in Chester Crown Court on Monday, June 3, 19-year-old Paterson received a 28-month spell in jail for the possession of ecstasy and ketamine with intent to supply.

From Livingston, he was also told to pay a £170 victim surcharge and an order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and a mobile phone.

Matthew Newbury

On the same day, Hartlepool-native Newbury was also handed a jail sentence.

The 24-year-old received three years in jail for possession and being concerned in the supply of ecstasy and ketamine.

As well as this, another order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and a phone, and Newbury was also made to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

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On the sentencings, Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “Illegal drugs have no place in Cheshire and we will continue to do everything we can to target those who believe they are above the law.

“In the run-up to the music festival we worked hard in trying to ensure that those attending were fully aware of the consequences they would face if they attempted to bring illegal drugs to the event.

“They were also given every opportunity to get rid of illegal drugs in surrender bins before going through the search process.

“While the majority of people listened to the warnings issued, sadly there were a small number who thought they could get away with it.

“However, they underestimated the vigilance of the security measures in place at the site and they are now facing the consequences of their actions.

“I hope that the custodial sentences handed to these offenders sends a clear message to others that the use and supply of illegal drugs will not be tolerated in the county.”