Sidmouth drug user cleared of dealing

PUBLISHED: 10:56 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 05 September 2017

Archant

A heroin addict has been cleared of being a street dealer after telling a jury he had gone to a drugs den to buy rather than sell.

John Gill was caught up in a police raid at a flat in Fore Street, Exeter, where he had just bought a bulk supply of heroin and crack cocaine for himself and his girlfriend.

He had a Kinder Egg containing 30 wraps of crack and 20 of heroin hidden in his pants and told the police ‘when you’re caught, you’re caught’.

He was found not guilty at Exeter Crown Court after saying he had saved up £250 to buy drugs in bulk to save money.

He said police arrived when he had just taken possession of the consignment and hidden it in a Kinder Egg shell so he could hide it as he left the flat.

Gill, aged 42, formerly of Howarth Close, Sidmouth, but now homeless denied and was acquitted of two charges of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

He admitted two counts of personal possession and was jailed for four months but released immediately because he has already served the sentence while on remand.

He would have been liable to a mandatory term of at least seven years if he had been convicted because he has five previous convictions for dealing in class A drugs.

Judge Graham Cottle told him:”Your life has revolved around drugs for a number of years. Whether it continues to do so hereafter is really a matter for you. If you continue, you will be back here again.”

Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Gill was arrested on April 18 when police raided a flat in Exeter where an 18-year-old from London named Izikiel Alabi was found with a larger amount of drugs and some cash.

Gill was found in the kitchen and had a yellow Kinder Egg container hidden between his buttocks. As he was being taken to the police station he said ‘when you’re caught, you’re caught.

A police drugs expert estimated the heroin was worth £200 on the streets and the crack £450.

Gill said he went to the flat with his girlfriend to buy drugs and the courier had just gone upstairs to remove them from his body and hand them over when the police raid started.

He said had paid more than £250 and all the drugs were for his personal use. He said:”They were for me and my girlfriend. The police arrived when I was in the kitchen. I told them they drugs were in my bottom.

“I had only been released from prison six weeks before and I didn’t have anywhere to live. It was a choice between sleeping on a park bench of staying with my old friends and went back to drugs.

“I was using them, not selling them.”

Alabi, aged 18, was jailed for two years at Exeter Crown Court earlier this year. He admitted possession of £4,000 worth of drugs with intent to supply.


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