Violent Fareham drug addict spared jail despite 'concerns' over releasing him into society

A VIOLENT drug addict who probation revealed they had ‘concerns about managing in the community’ was spared jail and sent out into society after being caught red-handed by police with drugs.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 5:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 3:24 pm

Lawless Fareham offender Steven Bassindale, 20, was back in court having only been released from behind bars in November for his latest criminal deeds.

The defendant appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court after being caught by police with a gang of drug-users at a Gosport address.

Bassindale was captured with 9.5 grams of MDMA powder worth £380 after police turned up at the address.

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Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

‘The defendant failed to co-operate with police with him blowing powder on the floor when they entered the property,’ prosecutor Martyn Booth said.

‘Police then allowed him to leave before realising he may have had drugs on him. After going back to find him Mr Bassindale he ran off before police chased him and found drugs on him.

‘Although he had a large quantity of MDMA on him it was not inconsistent with personal use for someone who has an appetite for drugs.’

Bassindale pleaded guilty to a single charge of possessing Class A drugs.

The court was told about the defendant’s criminal past with him having convictions for assault, public disorder, domestic violence, drugs offences and violence towards an emergency worker.

The menace was sentenced to jail for eight weeks in October for common assault, battery and breaching a community order.

But Daniel Reilly, defending, said Bassindale had curbed his ways since coming out of prison in November.

The barrister said: ‘There is a desire to make a change. He is someone who was in care until he was 18 years of age. He has been making a positive start in dealing with his issues with him seeking help from his GP.’

But despite the glowing reference from his lawyer, a probation officer told the court of her concerns. She said: ‘I have concerns whether he is manageable in the community.’

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Judge Roger Hetherington told Bassindale: ‘You were caught in a house with other drug users all taking drugs when you failed to cooperate with police. All this comes on top of a long list of previous offences.’

The judge added: ‘Since your release from prison you have fully co-operated with probation and have attended appointments and seen your GP. It seems there is hope for the future.

‘Any further attempts may come to nothing but I want to try and encourage it.’

Bassindale, of no fixed address, was given three months jail suspended for 18 months and told to complete 30 rehabilitation days.