Robert Coulson jailed for smuggling cannabis

Robert Coulson
Image caption Coulson admitted the importation of a prohibited drug

A 71-year-old man who admitted trying to smuggle more than £168,000 worth of cannabis through a ferry port has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Robert Coulson hid 29kg (64lb) of the drug in four inner tubes in the spare wheel compartment of his car.

He was returning from a trip to Morocco when border officers stopped him at Portsmouth port last year.

Coulson, of Anning Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset, admitted being knowingly concerned in importing a Class B drug.

It was previously heard that Coulson had spent time in Morocco before travelling to Portsmouth via Caen when he was caught on 3 November.

The Border Agency found more than 300 packets of powder which turned out to be cannabis in inner tubes in the spare wheel compartment in the boot.

Martyn Booth, prosecuting, told Portsmouth Crown Court: "He was asked...what the substance was inside the tubes, and he was to say right at the very outset 'it's hash'.

Image caption The drugs were hidden in four inner tubes in the spare wheel compartment

"He stated that he intended to sell the cannabis when he got to the UK."

Coulson has a number of previous drug-related convictions.

In sentencing, Recorder Anthony Davies QC said: "I find that you played a leading role in this importation in that it was a one-man operation which you had set up."

A confiscation hearing is to be held at a later date to recoup any money Coulson made from his criminal activity.

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