Dealer jailed after he was caught at station with drugs
A DRUG dealer who was caught at Leamington railway station with more than £2,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine has been jailed.
A judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that at the time, Martyn Owen was on bail after being stopped with wraps of heroin and more than £500 in cash just ten days earlier.
The 20-year-old, of Brunswick Street, Leamington, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply them and asking for the earlier matter to be taken into consideration.
Prosecutor Theresa Thorp said that on September 14 police officers stopped Owen in south Leamington, and found £515 in cash and 13 wraps of heroin.
He was granted bail, and ten days later drug squad officers stopped him after he had got off a train at Leamington station and asked him if he had drugs on him.
Owen revealed that he had a package in his waistband and another down the leg of his trousers. One contained 77 deals of heroin worth £770 and the other contained 77 deals of crack cocaine with a street value of up to £1,540.
He said that friends had given him the drugs and that he was going to sell the wraps for them in return for some free drugs for himself, explaining that he had no income and was living off his friends.
Miss Thorp added that, based on the value of the drugs and cash found on him, it was estimated that Owen’s benefit from his offending was £2,995 and his only asset was the cash the police seized from him.
So Judge Alan Parker ordered that £515 should be confiscated from Owen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Peter Freeman, defending, said Owen’s life had been ‘pretty tragic’, and after being taken into care at 11 he spent time in various foster homes until he was 16. Owen, who began ‘dabbling’ with drugs, got his own local authority accommodation earlier this year, and his housing benefit paid for the flat. But, having left school with no qualifications, he was at the bottom of the pile when he tried to get a job – and when his benefit was then suspended he was left with no money, but found he could make money through drug deals.
Mr Freeman said that on the first occasion Owen was stopped, a dealer had given him £500 and £15 for his train fare to go to Birmingham to buy drugs for him. On September 24 the same man had given him £900 to make the same trip.
He was on his way back from buying the drugs for that man when he was stopped after getting off the train, said Mr Freeman, who submitted that Owen had played ‘a lesser role.’
But Judge Parker said: “At the moment I’m satisfied he’s selling; he is a dealer.
“I am entitled to conclude he was going to sell the drugs himself, rather than hand them to someone else.”
He said he was prepared to hear a ‘trial of issue’ on that aspect of the case, with Owen giving evidence on the role he claimed to have played.
But after speaking to Owen in the cells, Mr Freeman said he no longer stood by his assertion about his role.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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