Drug driver ‘didn’t know’ cookies at party contained cannabis, court hears

Drug driver ‘didn’t know’ cookies at party contained cannabis, court hears

A drug driver claimed he wasn’t aware that a cookie given to him at a party the night before was laced with cannabis.

Dana Jasim, 29, was behind the wheel of a BMW 5 series on the M40 on October 17 when the car was boxed in and brought to a halt by police officers near Thame.

Analysis of a blood sample showed that he was three times the drug driving limit for tetrahydrocannabinol, an ingredient in cannabis.

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Defending, David Pallett told Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday that although his client admitted the offence of drug driving he would be arguing there were special reasons why he shouldn’t be disqualified.

“It’s spiked cookies,” he said – to the visible amusement of district judge Tan Ikram.

“On the evening before the driving he was at a party with some friends in the West Midlands. They gave him some cookies. He ate them thinking they were normal cookies.”

He only discovered after he was stopped that the sweet treats in fact contained cannabis.

Setting the case down for a two hour ‘special reasons’ hearing, district Judge Mr Ikram asked Jasim’s solicitor: “Will he be calling witnesses? The cookie man?”

Mr Pallett confirmed that two witnesses would be called to give evidence in support of Jasim’s baked goods account.

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The district judge, who took the cookie explanation in his stride, asked the lawyers what the defendant said when he was stopped at the roadside.

“Did he say ‘what are you talking about, I only had a couple of cookies?’” Mr Ikram asked.

The defence solicitor replied that his client didn’t know at the time he’d eaten spiked cookies, with the cannabis levels only revealed when a blood sample was sent off for analysis.

Ann Sawyer-Brandish, representing the Crown Prosecution Service, confirmed that the defendant made no reply when he was cautioned by the arresting officers.

He was not interviewed, although the reason for that failure by officers to interview him was not given in court.

Appearing in the dock wearing a double denim outfit by jeans label True Religion, Jasim, of Summerwood Road, Isleworth, pleaded guilty to driving while over the drug drive limit.

Mr Ikram bailed Jasim to return to court on June 29 for the special reasons hearing. He warned the defendant: “Make sure your witnesses come to court because the court will carry on even if you’re not here.”

The judge did not impose an interim driving ban, as would normally happen if someone was awaiting sentence for a drug driving offence.

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