A single call to 101 has resulted in a man being found guilty at Guildford Magistrates Court today (11 January) for possessing nitrous oxide with the intent to supply in what was the largest seizure in Surrey Police history.
Semi-professional footballer Leon Redwood, 27 of Commonwealth Drive, Crawley, pled guilty to the possession of psychiatric substances with intent to supply and was sentenced to 60 hours unpaid work. He also has to pay £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
On 26 July 2018, officers stopped Redwood and, after a search, located just under 6,500 canisters of nitrous oxide, also known as NOS or laughing gas, as well as balloons and a device to transfer the gas from the canister into a balloon.
The stop occurred after a member of the public called Surrey Police to report a vehicle behaving suspiciously in Crawley which was subsequently stopped in Lingfield, Surrey.
PC Phil Howells and PC David Every of the Tandridge NPT team then searched the vehicle and located the drugs.
Tandridge Borough Commander, Inspector Dan Gutierrez said: “Thanks to the member of the public who made the call regarding suspicious activity.
“It just goes to show that if you are concerned about something, to let us know on 101 as, from it and Constable Philip Howells’ stop, we’ve secured a record haul of nitrous oxide.
“While it may be called laughing gas, it is no laughing matter as the possible side effects can be fatal.
“Our message to drug dealers is clear; you aren’t welcome in Surrey. We will stop you, arrest you and put you before the courts.”
Government advice warns that inhaling nitrous oxide can be dangerous, and can lead to loss of blood pressure, fainting and even heart attack. In 2016, eight people died after inhaling the substance.
Prolonged exposure to nitrous oxide may result in bone marrow suppression and poisoning of the central nervous system.
These risks are likely to be made more acute if the exposure to the gas is combined with alcohol or other drugs.