Bedford drug dealer jailed for 3-years

21/03/2012

When his bouncy castle business floundered Stuart West turned to selling cocaine to provide for his family, a court heard on Friday, 16 March 2012.

But, he was arrested after members of the public complained to police about drug dealing taking place in Elstow Road, Bedford.

When his car was searched police found not only 17 street deals of cocaine, but a large block of the Class A drug, said Daniel Siong, for the Crown Prosecution Service.

West, 30, from Armstrong Drive, Bedford pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to possessing cocaine with intent to supply. He was jailed for three years.

Mr. Siong said West was arrested on 23 December last year. The drugs in his possession would have sold for between £8,130 and £12,180 when made into street deals. He said the prosecution suggested he was working as 'a one man band', but the defendant denied that.

Andrew Price, defending said West had been approached by someone who knew he had financial problems and that the bouncy castle business was not working out, and suggested he could sell cocaine that was provided to him. The large block was just being transported by West for his 'boss'.

The defence barrister said West was not a drug user himself, and police found no evidence that he was organising or managing a drug business himself.

"He is intelligent and articulate and has been well brought up and led an exemplary life until now. He could not get work after being made redundant in 2010, and felt shame that he could not support his family," he said.

Recorder Martin Oldham told West: "This case can be distinguished from the run of the mill drug supply case.

"It is obvious to you that dealing in drugs is a desperately serious matter. It is a tragedy to see you in court, but you made the wrong choice when faced with hardship and emotional strain.

"I accept you have shown remorse, but you know you have to go to prison."

Proceedings to seize his assets will be heard at a later date.

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