Burnley drug dealing couple jailed

A middle-aged couple who ran a busy amphetamine street dealing operation from their rented terraced house in Burnley, have been jailed for 20 months.
Burnley Crown Court.Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

David Allen (45) and his wife Christine (49) were caught with a near £5,000 stash at their Every Street home.

They were bailed, but carried on selling amphetamine and just three months on were again found to have drugs worth up to £1,670. It was the second time the Allens, described by one of their solicitors as “ inadequates,” who lived a “ soulless existence,” had been convicted of amphetamine offences.

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Burnley Crown Court was told David Allen, who claimed he was supplying as a debt was owed to a dealer, spent most of his time in the bedroom, where police found the drugs. Christine Allen, who said her role was taking the cash at the door and handing over the drugs, told police she felt under pressure from her husband and did not want to end up alone and homeless.

Both admitted possessing amphetamine with intent to supply in March and June last year. David Allen also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and diazepam.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said police executed a warrant at Every Street and recovered 458 grams of amphetamine, worth £4,580 on the streets; 187 diazepam tablets worth up to £187 and 23 snap seal bags of cannabis, worth £230. A wallet belonging to David Allen had £680 in it.

When interviewed, for the most part, David Allen made no comment and his wife suggested it was mainly his operation and she was assisting. “She said she didn’t like what was going on, but felt under pressure from him and didn’t want to be one of those women who ended up out on their own without any accommodation if their relationship broke down.”

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Mr Parker said police found drugs-related messages on a telephone, once again obtained a warrant and returned to the defendants’ address where both were present and officers seized just short of 28 grams of amphetamine. “This was not at street level purity. This was 54% and police say it was going to be significantly cut down.”

Mark Stuart, for David Allen, said: “They are, to some extent, both inadequates.” The barrister said until 2004 the defendant had no convictions whatsoever, but the Allens went through what was undoubtedly a traumatic situation. James Heyworth, for Christine Allen, said: “Her role was going to the door to take the cash and hand over the drugs.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said it was bad enough that both defendants were still involved in dealing amphetamine after they were convicted in 2006, but having been caught after the raid last March, they knew they were on police bail, yet continued to supply. She told Christine Allen: “You could have left him. You could have thrown him out. You could have just gone to the police, but you didn’t. You didn’t just turn a blind eye, you were actively dealing.”