Burnley cannabis dealer is jailed

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A COMMERCIAL cannabis dealer who had a stun gun at his Burnley home has been locked up for two years four months.

The town’s crown court was told how Warren Lyons (39) had text messages on his phone which showed “systematic supplying” of the drug and cannabis was found drying in the cellar at his girlfriend’s home.

Police discovered the taser at his house on Fox Street, Burnley, as well as more than £1,000.

Lyons was said to have started selling drugs after his mother died, when he became depressed, began to use drugs and alcohol and fell into debt. He then turned dealer to pay off the debts and had been a low level cannabis wholesaler as well as supplying street deals.

The defendant admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, between February and September last year, possessing 73 grams of the drug with intent to supply and possessing a stun gun.

David Macro (prosecuting) said last September 26th, police went to a house on Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley, after reports of a possible burglary.

The property smelled strongly of cannabis and as an officer was preparing to go inside, Lyons arrived.

He said it was his girlfriend’s house, he had cannabis in the cellar and his partner was temporarily living at his home.

Mr Macro said police found a lot of cannabis hanging up, drying in the cellar, as well as lighting, generators and plant food, but no plants growing. The defendant was arrested. At his home, police found electronic scales, a cannabis grinder and the cash.

The skunk cannabis found at Lowerhouse Lane was worth about £760 on the streets.

Lyons told police he bought the stun gun at a car boot sale. He said he had had a cultivation set-up about a year before to grow cannabis for his own use and the drugs drying out at his girlfriend’s house had been grown elsewhere. He claimed the £1,000 was to renovate his house.

Mr Macro said the stun gun was found to be broken and did not work. The prosecutor added text messages showed “systematic supplying of cannabis,” much of it wholesale and some at street level.

The defendant, who had not offended since 2001 and had no drugs convictions, will face a proceeds of crime hearing on January 18th.

Philip Holden (defending) said about six years ago, he had been working in Libya but came home when his mother was ill, to look after her. She passed away, he was unemployed, got depressed and started taking drink and drugs.

The barrister continued: “He tells me he really didn’t care very much about himself, he wasn’t looking after himself properly.”

The defendant got into debt to dealers and on credit cards and turned to dealing when a friend suggested it was a way of repaying his debts.

Mr Holden added: “He is deeply ashamed to find himself in the position he is in today. In the last 12 months, since his arrest, he has sought to put right a number of things in his life. He has got qualifications in computers now.”

The barrister told the hearing: “He presents as an intelligent, affable and decent man, not, as one would imagine, as a drug dealer with criminal tendencies.”

Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Long told the defendant: “It’s clear that you are a man of many qualities, for whom this course of criminal conduct was entirely out of character.”