Spray painter found with drugs at Exmouth skate park

PUBLISHED: 12:21 01 October 2020

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant


A spray painter who was arrested in an Exmouth skate park was found with £4,000 worth of drugs and £850 cash.

Matthew Carter was caught with the large stash of ketamine and smaller amounts of five other drugs after being caught with an aerosol paint can in Phear Park.

He told officers he was going to a designated area where graffiti was legal but the police noticed a strong smell of cannabis and searched him.

His home was also searched and more drugs and money were recovered, bringing the total amount of cash to around £2,400.

He was spared a jail sentence at Exeter Crown Court because he has turned his life around since the drugs bust in 2018 and is now tackling his own drug use with the help of the addiction service.

Carter, aged 33, of Albion Street, admitted possession of class B ketamine with intent to supply and personal possession of five other drugs including ecstasy and cannabis.

He was ordered to do 170 hours of unpaid community work, 10 rehabilitation activity days and to pay £350 costs by Recorder Malcolm Galloway.

Mr Galloway told him: “Police stopped you in a children’s skate park at a time when it was full of families and children of all ages.

“You were stopped not for drug dealing but on suspicion of spray painting and criminal damage but officers smelled cannabis and searched you, finding various drugs and a set of scales.

“There and at your home address, they found a large amount of money.

“It seems to me that taking that amount of drugs into a children’s skate park, whether you were going to deal or just having them there, must be an aggravating factor.”

Hollie Gilbery, prosecuting, said Carter was found with a spray can at the park on June 16, 2018.

Warren Robinson, defending, said Carter’s life has changed completely since 2018.

He said he is employed in the building trade and has sought help to address his own drug problem.

Mr Robinson said Carter had not been selling drugs at the skate park.

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