Online Archive  
Issue 6 - June 1972
Postal Charge
A recent case at Newcastle Crown Court concerned the sending of a package to India. The package, containing a number of hollowed-out photographs inside which was a letter and a pound note. The letter in the package was a request for the receiving party to spend the money and score the appropriate amount of dope. Big hassles - the people in India to whom the letter was addressed had recently moved and the parcel was opened by the new occupants who, in good faith, resealed the package and returned it intact to the supposed sender's address. However, when the parcel arrived back at the supposed sender's address, the person who answered the door, not recognising the person to whom the parcel was addressed, refused to pay the excess charge and the parcel was duly returned to the GPO.

An 'alien' citizen living in the house was told of the strange parcel with the excess postage on it, and after being told the name, recognised the person to whom it was addressed as being a distant friend of his. Presuming his address was being used as a forwarding station, he then decided to go to the GPO and enquire as to where the parcel was. The GPO, however, said that the parcel at that time could not be found, but that when it did eventually turn up, they would be in touch as to its collection arrangements. The GPO contacted him and asked him if he could go down to the post office and claim the package which had now reappeared again, and could he possibly let them know exactly what time he would be going down to pick it up. He, not knowing the parcel's contents, took this to be so that the GPO could have the parcel available for him this time. When he did arrive at the post office he was intercepted by one of Her Majesty's officers who busted him for "attempting to procure".

When the case eventually reached Newcastle Crown Court after numerous delays, the judge and jury seemed to believe that the name on the parcel was of a fictitious nature, and that he had been the one who had initiated and was meant to receive the parcel, whereby the jury found him guilty. (After a whole five hours of haggling during which time one member of the jury nodded off!) After this decision was reached the prosecuting barrister did not seem to think that he had exercised his rhetoric to the full effect and proceeded to mumble about the possibilities of the alien citizen being deported. Fortunately the judge did not seem to think that such great steps were necessary, although as he stressed a great many times, this indeed was a very serious matter. The good-hearted (sic) judge decided to impose upon the now guilty defendant, a two year probation order.

One thing that struck MG while watching proceedings was the fact that the jury were all seemingly fed up and pretty freaked by having to sit on a drug case. The impression, I believe the jury had on cannabis was that it was an extremely dangerous drug which was slowly gripping our fair nation by the short and curlies and turning the next generation into .......