Julian Underhill, 34, of Caister, texted friends to say he had found ‘Willy Wonka’s golden ticket’ after helping himself to cocaine washed up Norfolk beach

PUBLISHED: 12:39 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 19:40 13 September 2017

The bags of cocaine seized from the beach

The bags of cocaine seized from the beach


A man helped himself to some of £50m worth of cocaine washed up on two Norfolk beaches - and sent a text message describing the find as “Willy Wonka’s golden ticket”, a court heard.

National Crime Agency officers were called in after a number of holdalls containing drugs were found at Hopton and Caister beaches, near Great Yarmouth, in February this year.

Total amount of cocaine seized was about 360kilos.

Julian Underhill, 34, found some of the washed up cocaine on the beach at Caister and Norwich Crown Court heard he used some himself, as well as selling some to other drug users

Andrew Oliver, for Underhill, said he was on the beach when he discovered the cocaine washed ashore.

“He sent a message to someone saying he had found Willy Wonka’s golden ticket,” Mr Oliver said.

He said Underhill had told the person not to say anything but the word had seeped out.

Mr Oliver added that Underhill was a user of cannabis and crack cocaine and had supplied some of the cocaine he found and also used some himself.

Underhill, of Charles Close, Caister, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine between November 1 last year and March 4 this year, as well as possession of cocaine on March 3 this year.

He also admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the pleas offered by Underhill were acceptable to the prosecution.

He said Underhill was a cannabis dealer but had come across the cocaine on the beach,

“He does sell some of it and uses some of it as well,” he said.

Mr Youell said that the prosecution accepted that Underhill had no role or involvement in the consignment of cocaine but had just found it on the beach, adding: “He is not of that ilk.”

Judge Katharine Moore adjourned sentence until October 31 but warned Underhill that all options, including prison, were open to the court.

She added: “On the face of it, custody here is inevitable.”

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