Drug dealer spared jail in ‘unusual case’

Judge Anthony Russell QC
Judge Anthony Russell QC
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A 20-year-old who pleaded guilty to possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply has been spared jail in a “very unusual” case.

Joseph Murphy of Primrose Road, Preston, was arrested in on July 25, 2014, after getting into a drunken fight on a night out.

After being searched by police he was found to have in his possession 3.6g of crack cocaine in two wraps, and a quantity of cannabis, said to be for his own personal use.

He told Preston Crown Court that he was holding the cocaine for someone else, and felt too intimidated to say no.

His defence barrister David Traynor said: “He’s 20, he’s from a good background, he lives at home with his parents and both siblings and his father is here to support him.

“The death of his grandfather lead him to drop out of education, start taking cannabis and come into contact with people far more serious than he is.

“He was arrested after a drunken punch on a night out, and in my view was lucky to be arrested.”

Sentencing Murphy to a six month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: “You clearly got into the wrong company and that led you to commit these crimes.

“You have said you were holding the package for someone else and felt intimidated to do so, and that has been accepted.

“This is very unusual and out of the ordinary for someone in court for supplying drugs.”

He added: “You are 20 and from a good background and in light of what I have heard about you, there are very good grounds for thinking you have learned your lessons and I agree with Mr Traynor that you were fortunate to have been arrested.”