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Deemster's 'mercy' over drug charges

English pair sent to prison for more than three years

Two young men from North West England have been sentenced to more than three years in prison after admitting drugs offences. 

Nineteen-year-old Andrew James Bardsley, who's from St Helen's, and 18-year-old Manchester man George Paul Thomas Underwood appeared before Deemster Alastair Montgomerie today.

The pair had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply, possessing the drug, possessing cannabis resin and possessing criminal property.

The court heard Bardsley and Underwood had travelled to the Isle of Man in August this year, the latter coming to look for work.

Once here, though, they were told they and their families would come to harm, unless they picked up and held onto a package of heroin for someone on the Island.

About 11.5g of the drug was found, along with a 'tick list', a number of mobile phones and £445 in cash.

Bardsley and Underwood also had small amounts of heroin and cannabis resin for their personal use.

Sentencing the pair to totals of three years and three months each, Deemster Montgomerie said he was entitled to show mercy, given their ages, pleas and vulnerability.

He also called on the authorities both here and in England to do more to bring major drug traffickers to justice, saying there are plenty of vulnerable 18 to 24-year-olds who get involved in drugs and can be exploited.

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