Nightclub ecstasy dealer from Ottery St Mary spared jail

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A night club drug dealer has been given a suspended jail sentence after a judge was told he was only selling to friends and acquaintances.

Thomas Melia was caught with 12 ecstasy tablets at the Move Club on Exeter Quay in November and admitted what he was doing as soon as he was interviewed by police.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court spared him an immediate jail sentence after being told he had never been in trouble before and had a good job.

Melia, 21, of Cornhill, Ottery St Mary, admitted possession of MDMA, which is a class A drug, and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community work.

He was also ordered by Judge David Evans to forfeit £95 cash found on him at the club and pay £500 costs.

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He told him: “You were engaging in a very foolish activity indeed. You were supplying ecstasy to friends and acquaintances for your own financial gain, however small that gain may have been.

“Selling class A drugs direct to users usually means going straight inside, but because you have no previous convictions, it is the first time you have been in trouble, and because the eloquent references show you have learned your lesson, I am able to suspend the sentence.”

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Miss Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said Melia was arrested at a club on the quay in Exeter with 12 tablets, made full admissions in his police interview, and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

She said: “He has entered a basis of plea which is in line with his police interview and indicated this was street dealing, but in a very specific way. We would say his role was somewhere between significant and lesser.”

Miss Julia Brassington, defending, said: “He has the support of his family and excellent references. He is a very hard-working young man. He was dabbling in the use of drugs and lost his way.

“He is now back on track and he plays football regularly for a team. He has learned his lesson from these proceedings and regrets his involvement in this offence.”

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