Man jailed for drug dealing and possessing a taser - Leighton Buzzard

17/08/2016

Today, Wednesday, 17 August 2016, Lee Sopp, aged 21, of Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes, appeared for sentence at Luton Crown Court where Judge Michael Kay QC was told the young man had been street dealing drugs in Leighton Buzzard.

The court was told he had also armed himself with the taser for his own protection. He admitted possessing a class A drug with intent to supply and possessing a disguised firearm.

Prosecutor Kevin West told the court how Sopp should have appeared before magistrates' in Luton back in March of this year after being arrested for possessing a bladed article. When he failed to turn up at court, Bedfordshire police discovered he was staying at an address in Oakfields, Oakwood Gardens in Leighton Buzzard. On the morning of 01 April this year, officers, armed with a warrant for his arrest, went to the address and, after being let into the property, discovered him sleeping on the sofa.

Mr West said the police found 19 deal bags in a bag, which contained 7.53 grams of cocaine and £160 in cash. Police also found the taser that, on first inspection, appeared to be a torch.

The court was told Sopp had a previous conviction for drugs offences.

In October of last year, Sopp had appeared at Luton Crown Court for possessing eight bags of cannabis with intent to supply, for which he had received six months in a young offender institute. When dealing in 2015, he had armed himself with a knife.

Rupert Wheeler, defending, said that on his release, Sopp had gone back to street dealing because he had got himself into debt with dealers, and saw it as a way of repaying what he owed. The taser, said the barrister, had been in his possession because he wanted it for his own protection when out on the streets dealing. Mr Wheeler said Sopp was now remorseful and determined that when he is eventually released from prison he will have nothing to with criminal associates in Leighton Buzzard and instead will live in Milton Keynes where he has family.

Passing sentence, Judge Kay said the possession of the taser was an extremely serious offence, telling Sopp: "A taser in the wrong hands could lead to fatal consequences. It's a firearm in disguise." He jailed him for a total of five years, saying: "If you go down this route of drug dealing and carrying weapons, you will face the prospect of spending most of your life in prison."

The Judge ordered the forfeiture of the drugs, the taser and the money.

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