Spring drops in

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By JOHN HAWKINS

AMAN who was found deal­ing hard drugs from an ad­dict’s flat has been jailed for two and half years.

Wayne Ste­wart, 24 and of Black­rock Road, Erd­ing­ton, had de­nied be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of co­caine, a class A drug, on June 28 last year, but was unan­i­mously con­victed by the jury of seven women and five men af­ter less then one hour at Glouces­ter Crown Court in Jan­uary.

He was found at the flat of Holly Chan­dler, 36, of Hanover Street, Chel­tenham, with a 16-year-old Birm­ing­ham youth out­side.

Chan­dler ad­mit­ted that she al­lowed her flat to be used as a base for co­caine sup­ply in re­turn for drugs and she was given a twoyear jail term sus­pended for two years with a six-month drug treat­ment re­quire­ment and 20 ses­sions of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

At the trial, pros­e­cu­tor David Maun­der said that Ste­wart from Birm­ing­ham, who had no links to Chel­tenham, was spot­ted by un­der­cover of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gat­ing the sup­ply of hard drugs in the Re­gency town.

He was fol­lowed to Chan­dler’s flat in Hanover Street, Chel­tenham.

The po­lice noted the youth out­side, later iden­ti­fied as also from Birm­ing­ham.

When po­lice en­tered the prop­erty they found Ste­wart in­side along with ma­te­ri­als in­di­cat­ing the sup­ply of co­caine.

Mr Maun­der said the of­fi­cers formed the im­pres­sion that Ms Chan­dler’s flat had been ‘cuck­ooed’ by Ste­wart.

The youth who had pleaded guilty at an ear­lier hear­ing, failed to at­tend for sen­tence and Judge Ian Lawrie QC is­sued a war­rant for his ar­rest.

Mr Maun­der said that Ste­wart had been ar­rested in April, prior to th­ese of­fences, and found to be in pos­ses­sion of class A drugs.

“A search of his then ad­dress re­vealed a sig­nif­i­cant amount of drugs in his room.”

Mr Maun­der said he was ‘likely to be charged with con­spir­acy to sup­ply’ in that case.

The pros­e­cu­tor said it was pos­si­ble that the loss of drugs in April could have led to a debt and his in­volve­ment in the deal­ing in Chel­tenham. Judge Lawrie heard that Ste­wart viewed go­ing into prison as ‘al­most a re­lief.’

Im­pos­ing the jail term he said: “You cause un­told mis­ery. That has prompted a strong sense of re­morse. You have had time to re­flect on it.

“This is a trade that en­cour­ages peo­ple’s mis­ery.”

Deal­ing with Chan­dler, the judge said: “You al­lowed your­self to be used by the oth­ers.

“You agreed to that be­cause you thought you would get some drugs. You did it know­ingly.

“I could sim­ply lock you up. That would be the sim­plest thing to do, but I am not sure that would help.

“There is a part of you that has been a vic­tim of cross county lines drug op­er­a­tions.”

Im­pos­ing the sus­pended sen­tence he warned her: “Do not squan­der this chance. It will not be easy, but make use of it.” [email protected]­cal­world.co.uk

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