Lawyer reveals how dealers keep addicts in debt – forcing them into prostitution, street dealing and shoplifting

Sonny Doyle, 22, was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for four years
Sonny Doyle, 22, was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for four years
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AN EXPERIENCED criminal defence lawyer has described how drug dealers enforce drug debts in order to put addicts to work.

During the sentencing of London dealer Sonny Doyle, Howard Barrington-Clark told the court how people are forced to either steal, deal drugs or made into prostitutes to pay back a never-ending debt owed to people higher up the chain.

READ MORE: Jail for London dealer caught selling ‘life-destroying’ drugs in Portsmouth

‘Drug dealers allow addicts to run up a debt very quickly,’ said Doyle’s lawyer Howard Barrington-Clark.

Mr Barrington-Clark said once it hits a couple of hundred of pounds, dealers then use it to put people to work.

He said: ‘For a man there are two ways for a woman there are three ways: thieving, running drugs, or for a woman, prostitution.

‘If they thieve, then they will be allowed one third retail price value of whatever they manage to get away with.

‘One half of that third comes off the debt and the other half is more drugs.

‘That way the drug debt is self-perpetuating. The dealers never want it repaid.

‘If they’re running drugs they’re given a certain amount of drugs and money. And it’s self-perpetuating.’

Since the drug-related harm team was set up last year it has seized hundreds of thousands of pounds in drugs and cash, and made scores of arrests. Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton warned how a ‘displacement’ of drug networks from big cities had seen them operate in Hampshire.