Top Boy kingpin Ashley Walters caught trying to sneak cannabis onto plane

Ashley Walters at a screening of the new series of Top Boy at the BFI Southbank last year. Photo Dom

Ashley Walters at a screening of the new series of Top Boy at the BFI Southbank last year. Photo Dominic Lipinski, PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The kingpin in gritty Hackney-based drug crime and gang drama Top Boy was caught trying to sneak cannabis on to a plane in real life.

Ashley Walters, the 32-year-old actor and rapper from So Solid Crew, also known as Asher D, was ordered to pay nearly £1,500 by magistrates at Holyhead, Anglesey, on Thursday.

He was arrested at the Welsh island’s airport in Valley on June 17 as he prepared to board a flight to Cardiff.

Walters, of Hackney, had been filming Take Down at nearby South Stack, a thriller about a group of rich young people taken hostage on a remote island.

Prosecutor Diane Williams told the court herbal cannabis was found in a small glass jar in hand luggage and a further “wrap” of cannabis found in his wallet.

“The amounts are consistent with personal use,” she said.

Mrs Williams said Walters told police he had been an occasional user of the drug for 15 years.

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Sam Parkin, defending Walters, who admitted possession, said his client realised his appearance before the magistrates was “a waste of the court’s time” and apologised for it.

“He has a relatively high profile but that should not be held against him,” the lawyer added.

Mr Parkin said a reference handed into court reflected on the “positive contribution” Walters made in his community.

Walters was fined £1,250 for possessing cannabis and ordered to pay £220 costs.

After the hearing he said: “Justice was done.”

Walters has appeared in The Bill and Grange Hill as well as starring in Channel 4 drama Top Boy.

Hackney town hall chiefs refused permission for Top Boy – billed as the British version of the US hit show The Wire – to be filmed on any of its estates, despite its writer Ronan Bennett researching the story in the borough and the fictional Summerhouse Estate being based in the area.

The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, vetoed filming after the council considered the series would have a “detrimental” effect on the area’s reputation.

Walters will star alongside Ed Westwick and Jeremy Sumpter in Take Down, a movie bankrolled by Pinewood Pictures.