Burnley ‘corner shop’ cannabis dealer is jailed

JAILED: David Wain (s)
JAILED: David Wain (s)

A DEALER who was running a “cannabis corner shop” in a semi-derelict house in a Burnley back street, has been jailed.

The town’s crown court heard how “vulnerable” David Wain (49) had 171 previous convictions and had been using the drug for three decades.

He was selling cannabis to customers who came to the back door down the alley “in conditions of relative safety” to get their supply of drugs.

Wain, said to have been exploited by others higher up the chain who were making cash, got his own cannabis free or had his habit subsidised for taking part in the operation.

The hearing was told there was dealing going on at the house, in Angle Street, before the defendant was arrested and it continued afterwards.

Wain, of Gannow Lane, Burnley, had admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply but a trial over the facts had been held after he disputed parts of the prosecution case.

Police found him in possession of 28 individual bags of cannabis worth around £300.

Judge Graham Knowles QC, who heard the trial, said Wain had frequently told “obvious and transparent” lies about what went on.

The judge said he was sure the defendant was operating a shop, but it was clear he was not the person in overall charge. Wain, whose previous convictions are mostly for dishonesty, was sent to prison for 30 weeks.

Mr James Heyworth (defending) said the defendant had a shocking record for shoplifting.

The barrister said: “He knows the overwhelming likelihood is he will go to custody today.”

Sentencing, the judge said there could be no alternative to immediate custody.

He told Wain: “Yours is a life lived with a disregard of the law.

“No doubt there were other people higher up than you, who were making money out of this and I have no doubt, wrong though what you did was, you were vulnerable and were exploited.

“Frankly, the number of people in the country who would want to swop their lives with yours must be small.”

Judge Knowles said throughout it all, the defendant had struggled to lead some kind of family life as well.

He added: “I don’t ignore all of that. I try to sentence you as the human being that you are.”