Exmouth man who was mistaken for a drug dealer and kept in custody for two months is told he can go home

PUBLISHED: 15:03 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:03 09 August 2018

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A drug buyer from Withycombe Raleigh who spent two months in custody after being mistaken for a dealer has been told he is free to go by a judge.

Nathan Fowler was arrested with four wraps of drugs and £260 cash in the centre of Exeter but had just bought the heroin and cocaine from money he won by gambling.

He spent two months in prison and two months on a tagged curfew at his home in Exmouth before the prosecution decided to drop charges of drug dealing.

Fowler, aged 22, of Ryll Grove, Exmouth, admitted two counts of personal possession and was conditionally discharged by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge decided not to activate an eight month suspended sentence, which Fowler received in February for his part in an affray in which he and two others attacked members of a wedding party outside a pub in Exmouth.

Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said the case has been reviewed and the more serious charge of possession with intent to supply was not being pursued.

He said CCTV observed Fowler involved in suspicious activity near St Anne’s Road, in Exeter, on April 19 this year; Fowler was arrested and had on him three wraps of cocaine and one of heroin, with a total value of £90.

He told police £260 cash came from his benefits and gambling winnings.

Mr Warren Robinson, defending, said Fowler had been a user of so-called legal highs but moved onto harder drugs after the death of his grandfather, who had brought him up, and to whom he was close.

The court was told Fowler came off drugs while in prison and hopes to remain clean with the help of the probation service after his release.

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