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Asylum Seeker Bites Police Officer at Migrant Barge After Cannabis Arrest, UK Police Almost Cried

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An asylum seeker has admitted to assaulting a police officer by biting him after trying to bring cannabis onto the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland as reported by The Guardian.

According to a report by the Dorset Echo, 29-year-old Kenson Noel pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates Court to possession of a class B drug and assault by beating of Portland Port Police officer Christopher Grant.

The incident occurred on May 16th when Noel arrived at the Bibby Stockholm barge, which is being used to house asylum seekers. He had 6.5 grams of cannabis in his possession.

Noel, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, told the court he thought having a small amount of cannabis was legal, as it is permitted in his home country.

The prosecutor, Christina Norgan, explained that Noel made staff aware he had cannabis and was told he would not be allowed to take it onto the barge. Port police were called to assist.

Officers took Noel to a cabin and searched him, finding the cannabis along with scales, bags and a large amount of cash totaling £800.

During the search, Noel had to be restrained and he bit officer Grant on the left elbow, breaking the skin and causing it to bleed. He was then arrested for assaulting an emergency worker.

In an interview, Noel admitted the cannabis was for his personal use. He has no previous convictions.

His defense lawyer, Ian Brazier, stated the money was from Noel’s family in Trinidad and irrelevant.

Brazier said, “In many Caribbean countries, possession of a limited amount of cannabis is legal, up to 28 grams. It was not understood by him that this amount was illegal in this country.”

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He added that Noel uses cannabis to help with his anxiety and calm down. Brazier questioned why Noel was handcuffed for a cannabis offense, saying “It feels a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.”

The court heard that when the officer went to search Noel’s bag for the cannabis, Noel put his hand in the bag and was grabbed and handcuffed, leading to him biting the officer out of anxiety from being restrained.

Noel was granted unconditional bail and the case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports. He will appear at Poole Magistrates Court on July 15th.

The Bibby Stockholm barge has been at the center of controversy since being used to house asylum seekers, with concerns raised over conditions and suitability. This incident further highlights the complex issues surrounding the barge’s use.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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