Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:55 UK

Hewitt's son admits drugs charge

Nicholas Hewitt Birtles
Nicholas Hewitt Birtles was arrested in Camden

The son of former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine.

Nicholas Hewitt Birtles, of Rochester Square, north London, was charged with possessing the Class A drug after being caught on 21 September.

Hewitt Birtles was fined £250 after he admitted the offence at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

Police had arrested the 21-year-old sales representative and another person in Camden Square, north London.

Prosecutor Emily Maunders said: "Officers noted a parked vehicle, they noted there was a man [the defendant] sat in the driver's seat.

"As the officers approached the vehicle they noted the defendant threw something out.

He is deeply distressed about the consequences of his actions so far as his family are concerned
Anthony Burton, for the defendant

"It was found to be a blue and white plastic bag wrap - this contained a cube-sized lump of white powder."

Hewitt Birtles, the son of Judge William Birtles, admitted both at the scene and in a police station that it was cocaine.

It has been valued at £150.

The defendant, who also tested positive for the drug, has no previous convictions but "relevant cautions", the court heard.

Anthony Burton, for the defendant, said Hewitt Birtles "immediately fell on his sword" when caught.

Stand down

Mr Burton said: "He apologises to court for the offence and underlines that through his plea.

"What is particularly distressing to him is that significant publicity has been attracted that has fallen on his family and he is deeply distressed about the consequences of his actions so far as his family are concerned."

In June Ms Hewitt, the Labour MP for Leicester West who was a minister during Tony Blair's tenure as prime minister, said she would stand down as an MP at the next election.

The man arrested with Hewitt Birtles was bailed until 6 November.

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Ex-minister's son on drugs charge
21 Sep 09 |  London

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