Jail for drug addicts turned ‘street dealers’

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

Two addicts who became “street dealers” and had stashes of different drugs at the same house have both been locked up.

Burnley Crown Court heard how cocaine seller Steven Prescott (23) and cannabis supplier Jason Kirkbright (29) were arrested after a police community support officer spotted a woman go into Kirkbright’s house in the town, come out within seconds and put her hand in her pocket.

His addiction to cocaine took over his life. He lost his home, he lost his work and he lost his relationship with his partner. For a time, he was living on the streets. It has completely ruined his life.

Defence solicitor

He was suspicious, knocked on the door and was met with an “ overwhelming” smell of cannabis. Other officers arrived and when the property was searched, they found almost 81 grams of cannabis, worth £1,100 on the streets and 3.73 grams of cocaine, to the value of £480.

Prescott, then a cocaine addict, was to tell a probation officer he would have “walked to the end of the earth and back,” just for a fix. The defendant, of Ingham Street, Padiham, has now been jailed for two years, after admitting being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Kirkbright, of Waterbarn Street, Burnley, was sent to custody for six months. He had pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and possessing the drug with intent to supply. Neither have any previous convictions.

Prosecutor Paul Dockery said last November the community support officer saw the young woman walk away from the property on Waterbarn Street.

Kirkbright opened the door and said the smell of cannabis was because he and his mate had just had a spliff. The officer went in and found two cannabis grinders and some snap bags on the top of the coffee table. He called for other officers to attend.

Mr Dockery said the defendants were arrested. Kirkbright had £185 on him. Police found most of the cannabis in a divan drawer in the bedroom and 12 knotted bags of cocaine, ready for supply in £40 deals. There was evidence of drug dealing on a phone in Prescott’s possession, referring to “flame” – high purity cocaine.

The prosecutor said Kirkbright was interviewed and said he had no knowledge of the cocaine, even though it was his house. He accepted he used drugs.

Prescott claimed he happened to go to the house, he was not aware of the young lady there and happened coincidentally to return from the toilet as she came in. Mr Dockery added: “Its plain each of them, in their own way, was street dealing.”

Richard Taylor (defending both) said Kirkbright, had stopped using drugs completely. The solicitor continued: “He had used cannabis for a long time, but after he lost his job, he found it harder and harder to obtain cannabis because he couldn’t afford it. It was weeks before his arrest that he decided he was going to start selling to fund his own habit.

“He wasn’t making a lot of money.”

For Prescott, Mr Taylor said: “His case demonstrates the devastating effects of an addiction to a drug such as cocaine.”

The solicitor continued: “His addiction to cocaine took over his life. He lost his home, he lost his work and he lost his relationship with his partner. For a time, he was living on the streets. It has completely ruined his life. Once he was arrested, he stopped using any drugs.