Con Man Planned To Sell Fake Drugs At Dance Island Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:57 02 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:05 04 May 2010

A CON man planned to trick festival goers into buying fake illegal drugs at the famous Dance Island Festival in Stuntney. Simon Cooke turned up at the venue with more than 200 tablets made of plaster of Paris - intending to sell them at £2 a throw. But he

A CON man planned to trick festival goers into buying fake illegal drugs at the famous Dance Island Festival in Stuntney.

Simon Cooke turned up at the venue with more than 200 tablets made of plaster of Paris - intending to sell them at £2 a throw.

But he was stopped during a random search at East Anglia's biggest dance festival on July 4, and he handed over a plastic bag containing the 233 white tablets he was planning to sell as illicit drugs.

"He was arrested, and the tablets were forensically tested," prosecutor Laura Mardell told Ely magistrates on Thursday. "Results showed they did not contain any controlled substance.

"When interviewed, Cooke confirmed his intention of selling the pills made of plaster of Paris at the event, for £2 each. He would have told people they were controlled drugs."

Cooke, 36, told police he bought the tablets for £20 at a previous festival. He had lost his job and was having money problems.

Solicitor David Cason told magistrates: "If you look at the mischief that would have been caused if had been successful, the users of illegal drugs would not have got their drugs.

"He was going to attempt to sell plaster of Paris tablets to drug users, and people going to the festival to buy drugs would not have got drugs, but a placebo. So no mischief would have been committed, except perhaps that drug users would have been out of pocket by £2.

Cooke, of Southampton Way, Camberwell, admitted attempting to commit fraud by trying to sell pills that purported to be a controlled substance.

Giving Cooke a two-year conditional discharge and ordering him to pay £85 costs, presiding magistrate Janet South told him: "You do not need me to tell you what a silly thing this was to do.

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