Portsmouth student caught with machete and £660 worth of crack and heroin spared jail
AN ARMED county lines drug dealer caught with more than £600 of class A drugs has been spared jail.
University of Portsmouth student Badya Joseph, 22, was spotted by police leaving an address in Southsea getting into a taxi.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard he asked the driver to evade police – but the taxi driver pulled over when officers activated sirens.
Officers searched Joseph and found a machete down his trousers, £20 worth of cannabis – and £660 worth of crack and heroin.
The court heard the student had taken on his friend’s drug debt to a London county lines gang after his pal was jailed.
Joseph, of Cassland Road, Hackney in London, feared something may happen to him or his friend if he did not.
Sparing him prison, the judge, Recorder Nicholas Haggan QC, said: ‘You have only just escpaed going down those stairs with the security officer standing next to you.’
A thankful Joseph repeatedly said he would take the chance given to him.
He had told probation that despite working off the debt – by selling drugs – it continued to increase.
Joseph admitted two charges of possessing class A drugs with intent, having a bladed article, and possession of cannabis.
The judge imposed a two-year jail term suspended for two years with rehabilitation activities.
Police seized a burner phone and iPhone on the day, April 5 last year, and both must be destroyed.
Bridget O’Hagan, for Joseph, said he took the matter seriously and was ‘suited and booted’ for court.