Peaky Blinders star Paul Anderson fined for possession of crack cocaine

Paul Anderson, the actor who plays Arthur Shelby in the popular BBC series Peaky Blinders, has been fined £1,345 for possession of crack cocaine and other drugs.

He pleaded guilty to four charges at Highbury Corner magistrates court on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

Anderson was arrested on Boxing Day 2023, after police were called to a pub in Hampstead, London, where a customer smelled crack cocaine fumes coming from a disabled toilet that Anderson had just left. Police found him intoxicated with a young man and a 17-month-old baby nearby, and discovered crack cocaine, amphetamines, diazepam and pregabalin on him.

The actor’s lawyer, Moira MacFarlane, told the court that Anderson often tried to please his fans by slipping into his Peaky Blinders character, who struggled with drug addiction in the show. She said that people often gave him drugs as “inducements” and that he should have had the strength to say no. She also claimed that he had not been smoking crack cocaine in the pub.

Anderson is best known for his role as Arthur Shelby, the older brother of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the leader of the Peaky Blinders gang in Birmingham. The show ended in 2022 after six seasons, but a film adaptation is planned to start shooting in the middle of 2024. However, Anderson’s legal troubles could create problems for the production, according to a source.

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