Drug dealer jailed after becoming stranded and arousing suspicion of Claverdon residents

Akiem Burton.
Akiem Burton.

A drug dealer who aroused the suspicion of locals after getting stranded in a village near Warwick when he was ordered off a train for having no ticket has been jailed.

When the police carried out a stop and search on Akiem Burton in Claverdon, they found more than 40 deals of heroin and crack cocaine on him.

And at Warwick Crown Court he pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply them and possessing a bladed article, a bayonet-sized knife.

Burton (20) of Cotswold Close, Rednal, Birmingham, was jailed for 21 months for the drug offences – with a consecutive four-month sentence for the knife.

Prosecutor Ravi Sidhu said that at around lunchtime on May 24 the police had reports of a suspicious-looking person in Claverdon.

When officers turned up, they soon found Burton, who was wearing a long winter coat and a distinctive woolly beanie hat, even though it was a warm day.

They spoke to him, and Burton said he had just been to a shop in the village and was in a hurry to catch a train.

But, unconvinced by his explanation, they searched him and found a small amount of herbal cannabis worth £4 on him.

As their search continued, Burton tried to pull away from them, and there was a violent struggle before he was restrained.

The officers then found a clingfilm package in his coat, containing ten £10 wraps of heroin and 33 deals of crack cocaine worth between £330 and £660.

And in the waistband of his trousers they found a knife, which Mr Sidhu described as being ‘similar to a bayonet,’ with a ten-inch blade.

After arresting Burton, who was subject to a suspended sentence at the time for possessing a bladed article, the police found messages on his phone which indicated the supply of drugs.

And at his home, other officers found other drug paraphernalia, including electronic scales and contact cards with the header ‘Best Deals’ on them, added Mr Sidhu.

Burton suffers from depression and listlessness, said his barrister Anthony Potter, who argued: “It is unlikely to get better by reason of receiving an immediate custodial sentence.

“He has impressed on me how he is anxious to put this behind him and to engage in education.”

Of how Burton came to be in Claverdon on that day, Mr Potter said: “His account of being turfed off the train because he doesn’t have a ticket is more likely to be correct than that he was intending to supply there.”

Jailing Burton, Deputy Judge Michael Stokes QC, told him: “You were before the court last year and received a suspended sentence of imprisonment for carrying a knife in a public place.

“In May this year you were caught in possession of crack cocaine, heroin and a tiny amount of cannabis, which is neither here nor there, and a big knife, while you were on that suspended sentence.

“You are a 20-year-old man, and there is an indication in the doctor’s report you are suffering from depression, but that is no excuse for acting as a drug dealer.

“The knife was a very large knife, the size of a bayonet, and there has to be a consecutive sentence for that,” he added.