‘Evan­gel­i­cal’ life change prompts judge to spare dealer jail

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ADRUG dealer was al­lowed to walk free from court af­ter con­vinc­ing a judge he had turned his life around.

Thomas Brown was said to had an ‘evan­gel­i­cal’ change of heart when it came to drugs since be­ing ar­rested dur­ing a se­ries of early morn­ing raids in Mac­cles­field, and across Cheshire, Stafford­shire, Mersey­side and Manch­ester last Septem­ber.

The 30-year-old ad­mit­ted three charges of sell- ing heroin to an un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cer dur­ing a year-long covert op­er­a­tion to aimed to clam­p­down on the sup­ply of drugs into the town.

Sen­tenc­ing Brown on Mon­day, Judge Tina Lan­dale said she was tak­ing the ‘wholly ex­cep­tional’ step of not send­ing him to jail.

In­stead she gave him a 12 month com­mu­nity or­der with su­per­vi­sion and drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Judge Lan­dale said: “You should or­di­nar­ily be serv­ing a prison sen­tence of 30 months for your role as a street dealer of class A drugs. But this is an ex­cep- tional case. You have showed con­tin­ued mo­ti­va­tion to change your life. If you can re­main drug free then so­ci­ety will ben­e­fit.

“If you are not us­ing you are not com­mit­ting crime. I am tak­ing this wholly ex­cep­tional step.

“The pub­lic may think I have taken a le­nient ap­proach.

“It may blow up in my face bit if it does I want to hear about it, and you will go to prison.”

The court heard that Brown was part of a gang of drug deal­ers who were bring­ing in heroin and crack co­caine from Liver- pool and Manch­ester to sell in Manch­ester.

Si­mon Parry, pros­e­cut­ing, said Brown op­er­ated a ‘graft’ phone where he would tell users when he had the lat­est batch of drugs to sell.

On Novem­ber 7 Brown sold an un­der­cover of­fi­cer two heroin wraps for £20 near the Arighi Bianchi fur­ni­ture store.

The same deal went down on July 18, by the ten­nis courts in at South Park and two more wraps were sold on July 19 at a place known lo­cally as Quiggy Park.

Brown has 33 con­vic­tions for 117 of­fences, in­clud­ing dis­hon­esty, the pro­duc­tion of cannabis and ABH.

Myles Wil­son, de­fend­ing, said Brown was sucked into us­ing and sell­ing drugs af­ter leav­ing prison in 2014.

He said: “He has done a drugs course in prison. He has be­come al­most evan­gel­i­cal about drugs and wants to be­come a men­tor for other users.

“He is a man de­ter­mined not to go back to this way of life.”

●● Thomas Brown con­vinced the judge he had turned his life around

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