Preston dad who dealt drugs in Chorley has his jail term suspended after court hears about premature baby

A new dad who dealt drugs in Chorley has been given a chance by judge after trying to turn his life around and getting clean from drugs

Patrick James Lister, 29, now of Skeffington Road, Preston, was arrested after a drugs warrant was carried out at his former home on Gilbert Street, Chorley, on January 16 last year.

Police found 13 wraps of class A drugs worth £130, as well as cash.

Charlie Brown, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said: "The defendant was there as were a number of other people.

Lancashire Police released pictures of the seizure on Facebook last January

"He was found in a downstairs room. There was £75 recovered from his jacket and as the cash was recovered a package fell from between the notes."

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The package contained 13 wraps - three of heroin and 10 of crack cocaine.

He added: "His telephone was in his hand and that was later looked at and there are a number of messages there in relation to supplying class A drugs.

Lancashire Police released pictures of the seizure on Facebook last January

"When he was interviewed he gave a no comment interview."

Lister, who has 29 convictions but none for drug offences, admits possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine.

The court was told his child was born very prematurely and was still in a high dependency unit, and that he had suffered a similar tragedy with another child, which the author of his pre-sentence report blamed on his drug dependency.

Bob Elias, defending, said: "He is now drug free and with support from his family he has moved away from Chorley to another address and isn't being hounded by drug dealers for a drug debt, which was the cause of this offending.

"His remorse, his absence of drug convictions, the guilty pleas at the first opportunity...and the medical condition of his child are all features that could mitigate the length of the sentence which Your Honour is duty bound to impose."

Imposing a two year jail term, suspended for two years, with 120 hours of unpaid work and a probation programme, Judge Simon Medland QC said: "As you know to your cost right now, class A drugs destroy people's lives, they destroy their health and wellbeing, their ability to undertake work and they destabilise mental health as well.

"For that reason, possession with intent, or the supply of these substances, is taken very seriously by the courts with a view to stopping it.

"This was offending at the bottom end of any such supply superstructure, it was low level offending.

"You are a young man with a somewhat troubled background but I see in you - and I hope I am right - someone who does have a determination to turn over a new leaf.

"You certainly have massive responsibilities coming your way in the shape of your baby.

"In the lead up to today you have spent the equivalent of 40 days in custody by being subject to a curfew for 80 days and in the circumstances of this particular case, in the light of the mitigation advances I'm going to take a very unusual step and suspend this sentence."

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