Portsmouth heroin courier spared jail after carrying 44 wraps to pay off £600 debt
A DRUGS courier has been spared jail after becoming embroiled in a heroin drug dealing ring to pay off mounting debts.
Dillon John of Rockrose Way, Paulsgrove, was found to be in possession of 44 deal-size wraps of heroin weighing in at a total of 6.75g and worth £880 on the streets.
The 28-year-old was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court to a two-year jail term suspended for two years.
He admitted possession of a class A controlled drug with intent to supply and possession of criminal property, relating to £600 cash.
John was arrested by police on October 9, 2018, following a surveillance operation carried out on a house in Somers Road in Somers Town, Portsmouth, thought to be used for drug dealing.
Following a further search at a property John was staying, police officers also seized an additional £1,155.
John, who has no previous convictions, claimed he was unaware of what the parcels contained and had agreed to deliver the package to pay off a £600 debt.
Defence representative Libby Anderson said John ‘was not involved in any street dealing’, was ‘unfamiliar with drug supply’ and was ‘unaware of what he was getting into on that particular day’.
She added: ‘He was naive in not questioning what he was being asked to do but he performed a limited function, acting as a courier under the financial pressure of debt.
‘This is not a man making a living through dealing but simply wanted to wipe out his debt.’
Miss Anderson argued this represented a ‘lesser’ rather than ‘significant’ role and warranted a more lenient sentence.
However the prosecution questioned this stance. Prosecutor Matthew Lawson argued all aspects of drug dealing - including the transfer of packages - ultimately make a significant contribution to the dealing of drugs on the city’s streets and criminal financial gain.
The probation report indicated John was at a ‘low risk’ of reoffending.
Judge David Melville QC, accepted the mitigation of the defence and imposed a suspended sentence on the dad-to-be.
Judge Melville said: ‘In my judgement this was a one off experience and one I suspect you will not get involved in again.’
He must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £1,000 costs.
John pleaded guilty in March having pleaded not guilty at a hearing in December 14.