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Man fined £2000 for driving with cannabis in his system

Christopher Bedassie appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 20 December (Credit: Google street maps)

A man from Waltham Abbey, caught driving with cannabis in his system, has been forced to pay more than £2000 in costs. 

Christopher Bedassie, 36, of Farm Hill Road was originally stopped during a police exercise, named Operation Nash, in Epping on Thursday, 16 May 2019.

Police pulled Bedassie over, who was in a branded work van at the time, and gave him words of advice as he was holding a mobile phone while driving.

He was also tested for drugs on the roadside and tested positive for a significant amount of cannabis.

Further tests showed that he had 3.5 micrograms of cannabis per millilitre of blood.

Bedassie initially pleaded not guilty to drug driving.

He then changed his plea on Friday, 20 December when he appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court..

As well as a driving ban for 36 months, Bedassie was fined £630, and ordered to pay other costs of more than £1400.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Martin Allen said: “To you, it might be just a joint or two, or a habit you’ve picked up over time, but drugs stay in your system and can have catastrophic consequences if you’re driving.

“If Bedassie had been involved in a collision, we could have been telling a very different story today.

“As it is, I’m pleased that he decided to enter a guilty plea and I hope that this punishment will serve as a warning to others – is the high worth the low?”

More than 1,796 people were arrested on suspicion of drug driving in 2019.


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