Drug dealer jailed after £20k of cocaine and cannabis found in room
PUBLISHED: 15:42 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:23 17 June 2020
A 28-year-old caught with £20,000 of cocaine and cannabis he was dealing from his bedroom has been jailed for 40 months.
Police found 200g of cocaine and almost two kilos of cannabis, worth £17,000 to £20,000, in a room occupied by Nathan Barber at an address in Colchester.
Officers also found weighing scales covered in white powder, £7,000 cash and a canister of CS gas in the room after responding to reports of a strong smell of cannabis coming from the property on Sunday, March 22.
Barber, 28, of Ipswich Road, admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply cannabis and possession of a weapon capable of discharging a noxious liquid at an earlier hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, April 20.
On Wednesday, he appeared on video link from Thameside prison for a remote sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.
Prosecutor John Fairhead had told the court that Barber had just one previous criminal conviction for supplying cannabis in 2010.
Barry Gilbert, mitigating, said drug dealing was not Barber’s ‘stock-in-trade’, and although he accepted being part of the operation, was not directly in charge.
Mr Gilbert said Barber had been sofa-surfing at the address following a falling out with his girlfriend.
“He was overseeing people as they came and helped themselves to portions of drugs,” he added.
“He had the CS gas canister for some time; partly because he was interested in it, and partly as a measure of self-protection.”
Judge Emma Peters said it was clear Barber was using the room to live in and to deal drugs from.
She said the CS gas would have been capable of “great harm”, but accepted there was no evidence of the canister ever being used or even taken from the room.
Judge Peters said possession of class A drugs caused “great misery and hardship” not only for users, but also for society as a whole.
“You are a 28-year-old man with a future ahead of you,” she told Barber, adding that she hoped he would find his way to being rehabilitated while imprisoned.”
Judge Peters handed down a 40-month sentence for the cocaine, with concurrent eight-month sentences for the cannabis and CS gas.
The £7,000 cash will be the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at a later date.
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