A Cambridge crime journalist has been fined more than £1,000 after being found in possession of cocaine.
Raymond Brown, who worked for the Cambridge News and its website Cambridgeshire Live until last month, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing controlled a class A drug, cocaine, at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Brown, 59, of Victoria Road in Cambridge, was ordered to pay a fine of £1,211, a £121 victim surcharge and court costs of £400. He was also ordered to forfeit the drugs.
The journalist had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing but changed his plea to admit the charge yesterday when a trial was expected to take place.
According to Cambridgeshire Live, whose reporter attended the hearing, Brown told the court: “I admit possessing the drugs but there was no intent on my part to use them.
“It has been horrific for me. I have lost my job now. I have been trying to piece my life back together and I would ask for leniency.”
Press Gazette understands Brown was sacked from his role as a crime reporter for Cambridge News, where he spent 12 years, for gross misconduct.
His Linkedin page now lists him as a freelance journalist specialising in crime.
The charge dated back to September 2018, according to Cambridgeshire Live, when Brown was about to go on holiday before he received a call from his doctor saying he had a shadow on his lung.
He then turned back instead of heading to the airport leading to an argument with his partner which resulted in police being called, it was reported.
Sam Willis, prosecuting, reportedly told the court that police recovered five wraps of drugs during a routine search and that the drugs were tested and identified as 0.83g of crack cocaine.
Brown, a single father, has been shortlisted for the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards on several occasions.
Reach, which owns the Cambridge News, declined to comment on the case.
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