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Leiston man facing jail sentence after being convicted of drug dealing

PUBLISHED: 16:30 03 September 2019

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A Leiston man who was arrested after police found drugs worth nearly £1,000 in his flat during a raid on the premises has been convicted of drug dealing.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was 41-year-old James Mercer of Colonial Court, Station Road, Leiston, who had denied possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to supply in September 2017.

He was convicted by a jury by an 11-1 majority verdict after a short trial of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

The jury couldn't reach a verdict on the charge relating to the heroin found in Mercer's flat and Raj Joshi, prosecuting, said he wouldn't be seeking a retrial on that charge.

He offered no further evidence and Judge David Pugh directed that a not guilty verdict should be entered on the court record.

Adjourning sentence for a pre-sentence report by the probation service until October 4, Judge Pugh told Mercer the offence he had been convicted of crossed the custody threshold.

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"I'm going to remand you in custody and order a pre-sentence report but please be aware that is no indication what the sentence ultimately might be.

"It clearly crosses the custody threshold and it is rare for a sentence to be suspended for this kind of offence," said the judge.

"I'm ordering a pre sentence report to enable me to have all the information I need. Please don't think that I'm indicating that it will be anything other than a custodial sentence," he added.

Giving evidence during his trial Mercer said that 57 wraps of cocaine found under a sofa in his flat were for his own use.

He said he had paid £400 for the cocaine from a drug dealer and had hidden the drugs under his sofa because he didn't want to share them with friends who came to his flat.

Mercer told the court that 33 wraps of heroin found in a tin on his coffee table belonged to a visitor to his flat and he had thought the tin only contained tobacco.

Mr Joshi said the total value of the drugs found in Mercer's flat was £970.

Nicola May, for Mercer, said a psychological report had already been prepared on her client.

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