County lines heroin dealer spared immediate jail in hopes of rehabilitation
- Credit: PA
A county lines drug dealer supplying heroin and crack cocaine in north Essex has been spared an immediate jail term.
It comes after officers from Essex Police carried out an investigation into two county lines between July 2019 and January this year – which resulted in a series of drawn raids in Clacton, Colchester, Braintree and London in February.
Drug user Barry White was caught supplying drugs four times between October and November, operating on the “T line” which was taken out during the operation, which ran as part of the anti-knife crime Operation Sceptre.
White, also known as Barry Hales, was arrested on May 15 and admitted supplying drugs during his interview with police.
The 41-year-old, of no fixed address, admitted being addicted to drugs and would spend up to £50 a day on his habit after making money from dealing drugs.
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Appearing before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 16, White admitted to four counts of supplying diamorphine and three counts of supplying crack cocaine.
Appearing later at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, July 27, White was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years while he undertakes a rehabilitation programme.
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He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay a £149 victim surcharge.
Detective Sergeant Phil Terry, of Clacton CID, said he hopes White takes the opportunity to recover from his addiction.
Det Sgt Terry added: “The court spared White an immediate jail term in order to give him a chance rehabilitate and consider if this criminal lifestyle is really worth it.
“Drugs gangs exploit vulnerable people, including those with addictions.
“They use them to sell and store drugs, which keeps them under the gangs’ control and traps these individuals in a vicious circle of crime and addiction.
“There is no long term future to be had in dealing drugs, and those involved will only ever be looking over their shoulder, because not only will the police be watching them, but so will rival criminals.
“However, there is an alternative and we work with other organisations within the criminal justice system, local authorities and charities to support people who want to get out of the criminal lifestyle.”