Colchester cocaine dealer jailed for three years
- Credit: Essex Police
A 30-year-old man has been jailed for three years after being caught with a bag of drugs on the streets of Colchester.
Ryan Watts appeared for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.
At an earlier hearing in November, Watts admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine, being concerned in the supply of cocaine and amphetamine, possession of cocaine and possession of MDMA (or ecstasy).
Watts, of Glenway Close, Great Horkesley, was stopped and searched by police after being seen crouching beside a black holdall in Colchester at about 6pm on January 7 last year.
Inside the bag, officers discovered 14 wraps containing a total of 12.86 grammes of cocaine.
Watts was also caught in possession of another quantity of 2.39g of cocaine and MDMA.
Prosecutor Hugh Vass said that "clear evidence" of Watts being concerned in the supply of cocaine, back to the previous October, was later discovered on a mobile phone also seized by police.
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Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said things had started to "fall apart" for Watts when contact with his son ended at the same time as a relationship with his former partner.
She said Watts had developed a class A drug habit, lost his job as the result of linked offending and incurred a debt to dealers of approaching £1,000 a week.
"He started dealing drugs to pay off the debt and fund his own habit," added Miss Bailey.
She said the imposition of a drug rehabilitation requirement, as part of a community order, rather than an immediate jail term, would put the onus on Watts to provide regular negative tests to avoid being hauled back in front of the court and resentenced.
"He has engaged with services and got himself on the road to becoming drug free," she added.
Recorder Jeremy Benson QC told Watts: "It seems only a custodial sentence is justified."
Watts was jailed for a period of three years – less 49 days spent under curfew while on bail.