Spring drops in
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