Hutton drug dealer Joseph Smith had £4,000 cash under his bed

A man who "peddled addictive misery to other people" has been jailed for 28 months.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:55 am

Joseph Smith, 21, of Lindle Lane, Hutton, near Preston, was found to have more than £5,000 drugs and £4,000 cash stashed in his bedroom at the family home during a police search.

He admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply it, and possessing cannabis and ketamine.

Neil Ronan, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said on April 30 last year a PC saw Smith's car and wished to speak to him about being out during Covid travel restrictions and about his manner of driving.

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Crown Court
Crown Court

The car was searched after the officer smelled cannabis, and snap bags of cocaine and scales were found.

Smith's home was then searched and officers found £4,000 under the bed.

A total of 110.89 grams of cannabis - worth around £820 - and 58.68 grams of cocaine - said to be worth up to £4,450 - was recovered during the investigation along with four phones.

A Nokia phone showed texts indicative of drug supply between February 20 and March 23, including customers asking: "Are you active?"

In an interview before the phone was analysed, Smith, who has no previous convictions, lied the drugs were for his own use.

Defending, Eleanor Myers said: "Mr Smith is perhaps not the usual candidate to be in a Crown Court facing such charges as these.

"He's been through a number of traumatic experiences,and that's more by way of an explanation and not an excuse.

"By way of background, the events that led to this offending are numerous within a course of two years and really would be traumatic to the best of people.

She said he had been robbed and stabbed in the hand, had lost a close friend, and his brother had been injured in an incident.

He turned to cannabis abuse as a coping mechanism.

She added: "To his credit after his arrest he took the bull by horns and sought to address his substance misuse and he hasn't used drugs for a year.

"He said the arrest was the trigger for that.

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"He needed to be stopped and that's what the court's done."

Judge Heather Lloyd forfeited the drugs and cash.

She said: "You are 21. You are intelligent. I'm told you have positive attributes.

"You clearly come from a very loving and supportive family and they have done what they can to help and understand you.

"There was always that support or help available and the support of your family, and in that regard you are extremely lucky because you have a completely different background to most of the young men and women who appear before these courts, particularly for offences of drug dealing.

"Many people are of the view that cannabis is a harmless drug. They are wrong.

"This drug, as this court knows, leads to all types of mental health problems among those to take it to excess.

"Many of those who resort to cannabis go on to use class A drugs as you did."

Pointing out he had at first denied the offences, she added: " The Nokia hidden under your bed told the real story. You really had no choice then but to admit your guilt."

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