Fareham drug dealer fails in attempt to stop reporting of case

DEALER Nicholas Bryden
DEALER Nicholas Bryden

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A DRUG dealer who grew cannabis has lost his bid to ban The News from reporting on his case.

Nicholas Bryden was arrested after police raided a flat in Fareham and found 31 cannabis plants.

When officers searched his girlfriend’s flat in Station Road, Drayton, they found a stash of amphetamines which belonged to him.

Bryden was found guilty of production of cannabis and possession of a class B drug with intent to supply after a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

His partner in crime Anthony Pickett was convicted of producing the cannabis.

At their sentencing hearing, where Bryden was jailed for two-and-a-half years, the father-of-three made a last ditch attempt to ban any reporting on the case.

His barrister Matthew Farmer said Bryden was worried about the effect of the details being made public on his children, aged seven to 14.

Bryden also wrote a letter to the judge outlining his concerns.

The News opposed the application and the judge threw it out, telling Bryden ‘actions have consequences’.

Recorder John Trevaskis said: ‘In respect of your application for an order restricting the reporting of these proceedings

‘I am not satisfied that circumstances exist which would justify me in exercising my discretion of that respect which would go against one fundamental principle of justice in this country which is that it should be conducted in public.’

The judge added: ‘Unfortunately actions have consequences and one of those is that to which you refer in your request.’

Bryden, of Willow Tree Avenue, Waterlooville, was described as the main man in the pair’s drug plot.

Police said the cannabis plants would have given an annual yield of £22,000 worth of the drug. The court heard he already had previous convictions for 20 offences, six of which were drug-related.

Recorder Trevaskis said: ‘You were the person who was principally involved in the care and cultivation of the plants in the premises where the police found them.’

Pickett, of Portchester Road, Fareham, who runs his own haulage company, was given a 16 week sentence suspended for two years.

The court heard the 46-year-old, who has previous convictions for fraud and theft, played a lesser role in growing the cannabis and had tried to turn his life around since the pair were arrested in December 2010.

Daniel Reilly, defending, said: ‘He has a good business, something that he has worked hard at and something which is providing for a not insignificant number of others at a time when jobs are hard to come by.’

Pickett must to do 60 hours of unpaid work and will have to stick to a curfew between 7pm and 7am every day for two weeks. The judge ordered him to pay £1,400 in court costs.