Pubdate: Tue, 14 Dec 2010
Source: Evening Standard (London, UK)
Copyright: 2010 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Rob Parsons


A university today denied that a "cannabis tide" was sweeping its
campuses after one of its students was reported to police by his
mother for drug dealing.

Alexander Bull was spared jail by a judge after his mother Ruth ended
his dealing by calling her local police station in Camden. Blackfriars
crown court heard that the 20-year-old had been so stoned on skunk
cannabis that he did not realise how obvious his drug use was to his

Bull's lawyer, Thomas Nicholson-Pratt, said the student had been
"caught up in the cannabis tide gushing around" Oxford Brookes, which
is spread over four campuses.

After hearing that Bull bears some ill-feeling towards his mother,
although they still live together, Judge Peter Clarke QC yesterday
told him he owed his freedom to her. He said: "Your mother had the
desperate parental dilemma of how to act in order to bring you out of
the particular addiction from which you were suffering. She resolved
it in a way that was in every way exemplary and very courageous.

"I will say immediately that her doing that has kept you out of
prison. The sentence I would normally be imposing would be a period of

Mark James-Dawson, prosecuting, told the court that Bull had supplied
cannabis to a number of fellow students, which the judge accepted was
a "cannabis club".

He was arrested after officers raided his digs and found a laptop and
notebook detailing thousands of pounds-worth of deals.

Bull admitted possessing 12mg cocaine, 1.64 grams of cannabis resin,
and possessing 26.02g of skunk cannabis with intent to supply in
April. The judge handed him 12 months detention suspended for 12
months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. He said Bull had made
"considerable efforts" to rid himself of his addiction after getting
help, though he dropped out of university.

An Oxford Brookes spokesman today denied that the university had a
problem with drugs, saying the case was an "isolated incident".

He added: "We have a policy which states clearly that the use of
illegal drugs within the university is not tolerated. We work very
closely with the police and are not aware of any other similar arrests
at the university in the last two years."

Mrs Bull last night refused to speak about the case at her home.
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