Sidmouth drug dealer spared immediate jail sentence

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A drug user who was bullied into dealing to pay off debts has been spared an immediate jail sentence. 

Reece Seal was caught with cocaine and cannabis when police pulled him over for drug driving near the Devon County Show ground in East Devon. 

A dealer’s list found at his parents’ home in Sidmouth showed he had been selling to at least 30 customers, Exeter Crown Court was told. 

Seal, aged 24, of South View, Sidmouth, admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years by Recorder Mr Simon Levene. 

He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and 15 days of rehabilitation activities. 

The judge told him he was suspending the sentence because it has taken two years for the case to come to court and he has got a good job, given up drugs, and paid off his debts in that time. 

He told Seal: “Your basis of plea says you were acting under threat. I accept you were doing this because of debt and threats at a time when you were 22 and younger and less experienced than the people higher up the chain. 

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“It is significant that the plastic bags recovered when police raided your home had someone else’s fingerprints on them. That suggests someone else was playing a managerial role in what you were doing.” 

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said a police car was following Seal’s VW Golf on the A3052 on October 16, 2019 when he took a sharp turn into the Hill Barton business park. 

The officers realised he was trying to lose them and stopped him. He was later banned for drug driving. They also found drugs in the car and at his home. 

There was a total of 57.98 grams of cannabis with a street value of £570 and 21.19 grams of cocaine with a street value of £840. Bags, scales and a list of customers with 30 names were also found. 

He refused to give the PIN number for his phone and another man’s fingerprints were found on the wrapping. He was traced, interviewed, but not prosecuted. 

Miss Kelly Scrivener, defending, said Seal had made immense progress in his life since his arrest. He had been bullied into dealing to pay off debts and had been punched in the face by dealers before he agreed to work for them. 

He is now employed in a responsible job as a fleet manager and has stopped using drugs and used his legitimate earnings to free himself from drug debts.