Tiverton, where this absolutely appalling crime occurred. Photo: bazzadarambler

Tiverton, where this absolutely appalling crime occurred. Photo: bazzadarambler

36-year-old Damien Sawyer showed why cannabis is referred to as ?dope? when he was apprehended by police, having smoked his wares to the extent that he drifted off to sleep in his van. He had purchased the drug in bulk for sale in deals of ?10 to fund his accursed habit. His pal, Aron Pollard, 22, assisted by storing cannabis in his rucksack.

He must be punished. PUNISHED!

Sawyer, formerly of Sycamore Road, Tiverton, Devon, was forced to inhabit his van after he was ejected from his home by his partner. He admitted to possession of cannabis with intent to supply. He was given a six month gaol sentence that was suspended for a year and Pollard was instructed to complete 80 hours of unpaid toil. Sawyer was excused community work as he had already been on a Home Detention Curfew for nine months due to a charge of rape that had been dropped. This requires the wearing around the ankle of an electronic tag resembling a bulky wristwatch.

Looks like there was no rape

The rape charge arose with the complainant alleging Sawyer had commented, ?Do you want to play rape tonight?? and ?There’s nothing like a bit of rough sex? after drinking 24 cans of lager. The judge expressed extremely strong reservations after a police document emerged showing the complainant being asked if she had been raped and replying in the negative. The Crown Prosecution Service did not continue with the case.


At Exeter Crown Court, Richard Crabb, prosecuting, told how Sawyer was discovered, asleep, slumped at the wheel of his van, at 03:00 on October 8 2015 in a car park in Market Place, Tiverton. Officers became aware of ?a very strong smell of cannabis? around the vehicle and had difficulty rousing him. While he passed a breath test, he reeked of the stuff.

A search found that Sawyer had small quantities of amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy worth ?112 and deemed to be for his personal use. There was a bag of cannabis coming in at 0.11 ounces and seven bags of 0.03 grams which were believed to be for ?10 deals. The cannabis was valued at ?113 and more priced at ?40 was taken from Pollard, who had appeared at Sawyer’s one-time home when a police search was in progress; that was an utterly life-changing amount. 11 messages on Sawyer’s phone showed contact with buyers, but there were none on Pollard’s.

In their defence

Mark Worsley, defending, pleaded that Sawyer had turned into a devout cannabis user owing to the stress of his domestic situation. He has solicited help from RISE, the Recovery and Integration Service, which is local to Devon, and resumed employment as a self-employed contracting labourer. Pollard, meanwhile, used cannabis on a daily basis back then but is now trying to lessen his dependence and seeking work while on the rock ‘n’ roll.

Sawyer had initially pled not guilty, but changed his mind, possibly because Pollard admitted his terrible, terrible sin, weakening the case somewhat. Sawyer now resides at a bail address in Cullompton in Tiverton.

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