Jail for armed teenager caught at Portsmouth underpass selling crack cocaine and heroin
DRUG squad police ambushed an armed teenage dealer caught with a kitchen knife tucked in his waistband.
The judge who jailed Harvey Ray said it was ‘remarkable’ he had been spotted at an underpass in Portsmouth near Stanley Road with known addicts just two weeks after being spared jail for dealing MDMA to his friends at a festival.
Prosecutor Daniel Sawyer told a court how Ray was found with £580 worth of drugs - including 34 wraps of crack cocaine and 12 wraps of heroin. He had more than £200 cash on him and an iPhone with a photo of drugs and cash.
Officers spotted him at the underpass on April 23 in a transaction that took just seconds but he made off on a bike. They set a trap to snare him when he came back and he was stopped on April 24.
When he was caught Ray was with two boys – aged 15 and 16.
At Portsmouth Crown Court today he admitted two charges of possessing class A drug with intent to supply, and having a bladed article – a kitchen knife.
But Ray claimed he had been put to work under threat by county lines drug dealers who tracked him down from a newspaper report of his April 8 court appearance for having drugs at Victorious Festival.
Ray, of Oldgate Gardens, Hilsea, claimed dealers pulled a kitchen knife on him, turned up at his home - and then put him to work to pay back a debt they said he owed.
Brian Sharman, mitigating, said Ray was caught in a ‘completely evil business’ and said people are ‘forced to carry out the orders that they’re given’.
Mr Sharman added: ‘He says that the next thing he found himself visited and threatened by those for whom he had been working previously.
‘They claimed that he owed them a debt for several hundreds of pounds because of the drugs seized when he was arrested the previous year.
‘They told him in no uncertain terms that he would go back to working for them and that would be his way of paying off what he owed them and so he did.
‘The knife found was actually given to him by people who approached him after the court appearance and they initially threatened him with it and he said he should keep it on him.’
Judge David Melville QC jailed Ray for three years and said it was a ‘remarkable fact’ that Ray had offended just days after his previous court appearance. The phone and drugs will be forfeited and destroyed. Ray will be deprived of the cash.