Teenage crack cocaine dealer armed himself with bottle of toxic liquid

PUBLISHED: 13:10 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 18 May 2020

Sorren Price was sentenced to 45 months in a young offender institution at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Sorren Price was sentenced to 45 months in a young offender institution at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A teenage drug dealer who armed himself with a knuckleduster and a bottle of corrosive liquid has been jailed for almost four years.

Sorren Price was said to be working off a debt incurred for a stash of crack confiscated after his arrest for an earlier offence.

The 19-year-old was handed a 45-month sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday after admitting possession with intent to supply crack cocaine, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a weapon capable of discharging a noxious liquid – thought to be ammonia – in Newmarket, on April 18.

Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, said Price threw between 30 and 40 drug wraps, £373 cash and the weapons into a bush in Yellow Brick Road at about 5.15pm.

In the absence of independent evidence, she argued, it could not be proved that Price was merely a runner for a larger organisation, rather than operating his own profit-making criminal enterprise.

Price, of St Andrew’s Street, Mildenhall, had been subject to a two-year suspended jail sentence imposed in January for possession with intent to supply crack and possession of cannabis in 2018.

Declan Gallagher, mitigating, said Price had been engaging with the probation service and had attended all scheduled appointments for the unpaid work requirement of his sentence.

He said Price had been working off a debt of £700 owed to the suppliers of drugs confiscated and destroyed by police almost two years earlier.

Mr Gallagher said Price had experienced a problematic upbringing and had “the most dreadful of backgrounds”, on which his criminal tendencies were predicated, and had been “moved from pillar to post in every conceivable care situation”.

However, he added, Price was not beyond hope of rehabilitation or without prospects as demonstrated by his positive engagement with the probation service.

Judge Rupert Overbury said he accepted that Price may have been dealing drugs to pay off a debt, but that he must face the activation of at least part of his suspended sentence, along with a custodial sentence for being in possession of a large amount of crack cocaine and the two weapons.

Price was handed 30 months’ custody in a young offender institution for the latest offences, plus 15 months of the suspended sentence.

Following the hearing, Acting Superintendent Andy Pursehouse of Suffolk police said: “Reporting suspicious activity in our communities is vital to stopping drug activity and we would encourage anyone who sees anything untoward to report it to police.

“Drug dealing has devastating consequences for people in our communities. Local officers promptly responded to the report leading to this arrest, which sends a clear message that these offences are taken extremely seriously.”

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