A 16-YEAR-OLD Londoner was found with thousands of pounds worth of hard drugs in a Swindon terrace, a court heard.

Solomon Adewunmi, now 19, denies conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Swindon in December 2017 and January 2018. He also faces an allegation of possession of criminally-acquired cash.

Jurors at Swindon Crown Court were yesterday told that Adewunmi did not deny being involved in the County Lines operation known by the line’s brand name “Frank”.

But the teenager was expected to tell the jury he had been acting under duress – a legal defence.

Opening the case yesterday afternoon, prosecutor David Scutt claimed the evidence did not to support the suggestion Adewunmi was in fear for his safety.

“The Crown’s case is he was trusted to [sell drugs] despite his age; he was 16 at the time. But it’s not a job you just give to someone who’s only doing it through force,” Mr Scutt said.

“He was alone. No one else was seen coming and going from the property. No one else was in the flat. Think about it in terms of the defendant’s defence, look ahead. ‘I was forced to do it. I didn’t want to be there, it was the last thing I wanted to be doing.’

“What was to prevent him running away or going to the police if he was truly under duress? What was to prevent him? He will, obviously, say, ‘well, this very nasty person, these very nasty people they were the ones who prevented me because they just had me in their grip, in their power’.

“There was no one at the scene, no one – as far as we can see – in Swindon.

“Messaging to and fro from the defendant to whomever [the person putting him under duress] or from whomever to the defendant, there is not a scintilla of evidence of threat coming in or fear or concern going out. Not a bat’s squeak.

“It’s the easiest thing to say when you’re caught red-handed ‘they made me do it’. It’s just so simple. But, as you will hear, as we have heard, he didn’t say it at the time of the arrest.” He did not tell the detectives who interviewed him or took him home to Hackney later that day that he was being forced to sell drugs.

The court heard drugs squad officers had been patrolling Swindon town centre in unmarked cars on January 8, 2018. They spotted a group of drug addicts behind the Rolleston Arms, Commercial Road.

A woman who lived on nearby Curtis Street Tiffany Ellis, was suspected of dealing drugs to the group. She was arrested in the alley in possession of a drug wrap and cash.

Officers let themselves into her home and found Adewunmi in the kitchen, jurors heard. He was said to have pushed one of the constables in the chest in a bid to get away. He was cuffed only after one of the officers fired a Taser at him.

Inside the house, officers found an estimated £7,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin, £415 in a case and a machete in an upstairs bedroom. A toddler was found in the bath.

Adewunmi, who had an expensive Tommy Hilfiger jacket, was found with two phones: an iPhone and cheap Nokia burner phone. Analysis showed both had been in contact with the telephone numbers used by the “Frank” County Line. Jurors were shown pictures of cash discovered on one phone and a thread of messages between Adewunmi’s phone and another named only as Scramz86. In one of those messages, Adewunmi said “man’s in O”. A Metropolitan Police drugs expert told the jury “O” was a slang term for “out country”, typically referring to being away from London selling drugs.

Adewunmi, of Pamela Street, Hackney, denies conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of criminal property.

The trial continues.