Community order for Brentwood city worker who sold pills to cops at V Festival

A FORMER city worker from Brentwood who sold undercover cops five pills for �20 at Chelmsford’s V Festival last August and who was then found to be in possession of ecstasy has been ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and will be under an electronically monitored curfew for the next six months.

The community order, along with the 8.00pm to 7.00 am curfew and an order that he pay �250 legal costs was imposed on Xavier Birch, 23, of Toad Hall, Shenfield Common, Brentwood, at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday October 14.

Birch, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to supplying or offering to supply two recreational drugs drugs of Class B and C - and possessing a Class A drug, ecstasy.

However, the court was told that they had been intended for his own use until he changed his mind and decided to sell them to recoup the cost.

Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting, said a test purchase operation was in progress on August 22 last year at Hyland Park at the V-Festival.

She said that an officer called ‘Alfie’ approached Birch they started some general conversation about Festival things and then he asked Birch if he had any pills.

“He replied ‘yeah, do you want some?’ and asked :’How many?’, before carrying out the deal of �20 for five tablets,” said Miss Bradshaw.

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She said that he then turned to ‘Alfie’ who was with two other plain clothes officers and asked if they were undercover officers and added that if they were it was entrapment. He had then offered another officer a deal which was declined.

After walking off, the officers kept Birch under surveillance before arresting him, taking him to a mobile police unit at the site and discovering he had some ecstasy in his possession.

Ian Boyes, counsel for Birch, said : “It is a matter for the Chief Constable how he polices but it is unfortunate my client was approached rather than the merciless drug dealers.”

He said he was not a drug addict nor a supplier for commercial gain.

He continued : “He decided he wasn’t going to take the tablets and wanted to get rid of them.”

Passing sentence Judge Walden-Smith said : “Police officers attend knowing people are willing to prey upon young, vulnerable people. You attended the festival with the drugs for your own use and decided to offload them and recover the money you spent on them.

However, she continued : “It seems to me you’re a young man with various problems who is trying to address those problems under your own steam.”