Budding musician caught with drugs in buttocks is spared prison

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Tyrese Koroma was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday - Credit: Archant

A budding music artist on the verge of landing a lucrative recording contract has avoided prison after being caught with more than 150 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin. 

Tyrese Koroma, 21, who performs under the name Ty-Leone, appeared for sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to two charges of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. 

Police attended an address in Colchester on March 31, 2020, after concerns that a person in the property was being cuckooed by county lines drug dealers, Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, told the court. 

Koroma, of Beaconsfield Road, east London, was outside the property, waiting to enter, and told police he was visiting a friend, Ms Shirley said. 

Officers entered the property and discovered scales in the lounge, as well as tick lists, and seized £420 in cash. 

Koroma was arrested and following a strip search, police found a total of 153 drug wraps in his buttocks, the court heard. 

In total, 84 of the wraps were crack cocaine - worth a street value of between £960 and £1,800 - while 69 contained heroin worth between £740 and £1,034. 

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The crack cocaine was of 60-66% purity, while the heroin was between 33%-39%, Ms Shirley added. 

Oliver Snowden, representing Koroma, said his client had secured a recording contract with Island Records. 

One of Koroma's co-managers, who attended the hearing, told the court the contract in full was worth in the region of £600,000. 

Judge Emma Peters then asked for more information about the contract, and a senior A and R for Island Records then confirmed Koroma had signed the deal via video link. 

Mr Snowden said Koroma's behaviour at the time was "out of character" and that he had "fallen in with the wrong crowd". 

Since his arrest, Koroma has been working in a security job at a local pub and as a steward, Mr Snowden added. 

Judge Peters told Koroma he was "at a crossroads" in his life. 

The judge said class A drugs "cause misery in society" but acknowledged he had been handed a "life-changing opportunity". 

She sentenced Koroma to a two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 160 hours of unpaid work.