THE son of former health secretary Patricia Hewitt has been fined 250 after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine. Nicholas Hewitt Birtles, 21, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in north London today after he was arrested last month for possession of the class A drug. Through his solicitor, Birtles apologised to his family and said he was deeply distressed about the significant publicity his family had received as a consequence of his actions. Birtles, a sales representative, was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car in Camden Square when it was approached by police on 19 September. He was arrested along with a 22- year-old man who was bailed until 6 November. Addressing the court, Emily Maunders, prosecuting, said: Officers noted a parked vehicle, they noted there was a man sat in the drivers seat. As the officers approached the vehicle they noted the defendant threw something out. This was retrieved. It was found to be a plastic bag wrap. This contained a cube-sized lump of white powder. She said Birtles, whose father is Judge William Birtles, admit- ted that it was cocaine before testing positive for the drug. He h a d 1 5 0 - wo r t h o f cocaine in his pos- session. His solici- t o r, A n t h o n y B u r t o n , s a i d Birtles was only a recreational user. London Lite Wednesday, 30 September 2009 21 Genius is not far from madness SCIENTISTS have discovered that genius and madness share a common gene. Experts found that creative people have a gene in common -- neuregulin 1 -- which is also linked to psychosis and depression. Chance to judge theatre awards THEATRE fans will have the chance to see shows free for a year as Laurence Olivier Awards judges. The Society Of London Theatre wants 10 theatre-goers to join professionals in deciding the winners. See THE price of a first- class stamp may rise by a record 3p to 42p next year under plans to rescue Royal Mails finances. A second-class stamp may also go up, by 2p to 32p, to raise an extra 100m. It comes as unions warn millions of letters and other items may never be delivered, amid rolling London strikes over job losses and cost-cutting. A STUFFED fish, samurai swords and a jar of false eyeballs are just some of the bizarre items the Transport For London lost property office has collected over the past 75 years. Nearly 200,000 objects left on Tubes, buses and in taxis are handed in to the Baker Street office each year, making it one of the UKs largest lost property offices. Customer service assistant Craig Clark said: Some of the stuff goes back decades, like Second World War-era gas masks and ration books. Swords,bulletsanddentures...alllookingforanowner Hewitt drug son sorry as he gets a 250 fine Collection: an assortment of ammunition A mouthful: some of the many lost false teeth Treasure trove: Craig Clark with two lost samurai swords RoyalMailtoput3ponafirstclassstamp Apology: Birtles at court today BY MARK BLUNDEN index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html