Man jailed for dealing cocaine at rented flat - Bedford

28/03/2014

When Darren Hester was released from an eight year jail sentence he thought he could go straight, but he didn't bargain on his outstanding drug debt.

A court was told  how Hester came to be found in a Bedford flat that was being used for drug dealing with a large block of high purity cocaine.

Hester, 34, admitted possessing the cocaine, which could have been worth up to £40,000 in street deals, with intent to supply it.  He was jailed for four years at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 28 March 2014.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, said police conducted a search at the flat in Cardington Road, Bedford on 14 January this year.  Hester was in the bedroom, and the cocaine block was found on a draining board in the kitchen, along with other drugs paraphernalia. There was also some cannabis for personal use.

Analysis showed the cocaine to have a purity of 79%, which Judge David Farell QC said was a similar strength to when the drug has just been imported and before it is cut down.

Erin Haupt, defending said: "The debt he owed stemmed from his previous conviction and to pay it off he worked at the flat, which was rented for the sole purpose of dealing drugs.  He has not tried to evade his responsibilities."

Judge Farrell told Hester: "When you were last released from prison you had an outstanding debt. You were still on licence when you chose to sell drugs to pay off the money you owed.  I accept you were under considerable pressure and would have preferred not to return to offending, but you did so."

The court was told his previous conviction was for drug dealing and possessing a firearm.

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