Cocaine and cannabis dealer jailed - Leighton Buzzard

05/09/2016

A Leighton Buzzard drug dealer, who sold cocaine and cannabis to pay off his rent arrears was today, Monday, 05 September 2016, jailed for 2 years 4 months.

James Morton, aged 31, and his family were faced with eviction when he started selling drugs to his friends to pay off his debts, Luton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Jai Patel said police raided his home on 8 April and found a large plastic tub containing a very large quantity of cannabis. Cocaine was found in a small tub. In all, there was 7.65g of cocaine, valued at between £400 and £600, and 50.91g of cannabis worth between £430 and £510. £100 cash was discovered in a box with another £70 on a table, along with two sets of digital scales and dealer bags. Drug-related messages were also found on mobile phones.

When interviewed, Morton said he sold drugs because of rent arrears.

Morton, of Plum Tree Lane, Leighton Buzzard pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply, and supplying cocaine and cannabis. He had six previous convictions for 10 offences. None were for drug dealing and the last one was in 2008.

Defending, Tayo Hassan asked for full credit for his early guilty pleas and full and frank admissions. She said: "He has no assets and was not living an affluent lifestyle. Mr Morton was living in council property with his wife and family. He accumulated a number of debts. He had been presented with a disputed bill for £1,750 from the council and they were threatened with eviction. He sold drugs because he feared he, his wife and their children would be put out on the streets."

Judge Michael Kay QC told him: "Many people get into debt and do not deal in drugs to get out of debt. It is no excuse and no mitigation. Drugs bring misery for people."

In addition to the custodial sentence, the Judge ordered that the £170 found at Morton's home was forfeited.

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