A teenage drug dealer from Luton who was found with a Taser at his home was sentenced to 30 months’ detention Thursday.
The 18-year-old was spotted by a police officer leaning into the open window of a car. The officer, who suspected him of dealing, shouted: “Stop where you are!” Luton crown court was told.
But he ran away across Hitchin Road and into Cherry Tree Mews. He hid behind a block of flats, but was discovered by the officer and arrested.
Prosecutor Edward Lewis said he was searched and found to have on him 2.11 gram of heroin, with a very high purity of 46 per cent. It could be sold in 21 street deals worth £211. He also had 0.94 grams of cocaine, which could have been split into 9 deals worth £94, as well as £185 cash.
Following his arrest, which happened on 22 October 2013, the youth’s home was searched and a cannabis grinder, wraps and deal bags were seized. A Blackberry and a Nokia phone were examined and found to contain messages relating to drug dealing. There were also “gang type ” photographs found.
He was bailed, but on 18 August 2014 the police searched his home again. In a black Adidas bag, the officers discovered a Taser stun gun.
The teenager appeared for sentence via a video link from Bedford prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and one of possessing an offensive weapon. He had previous convictions for robbery, handling, resisting arrest and theft.
Stuart Sprawson, defending, said the boy had been 17 at the time and had been under pressure to deal the drugs after running up drug debts himself. Since being remanded in custody, he said that he had received threats telling him that when he is released “it is not over”.
In the past he had been kidnapped and his home had been visited by people claiming to be police officers. He said he was “vulnerable” and had lacked a “father figure.”
“He is extremely remorseful. He said he had no choice. He is extremely upset and very emotional. He is not a victim, but is someone less advantaged than others, who has been exploited,” said Mr Sprawson.
Mr Sprawson said the youth had been asked to be the “custodian” of the Taser, to look after it for someone else.
Judge Michael Kay QC told him: “You have taken drugs for some time and it is clear you have had a troubled background. You became indebted to suppliers who engaged you through pressure into drug dealing. I am prepared to take the view there was pressure applied to you.”
But the judge said that he had been prepared to make money from drug dealing and that the possession of the Taser was also a very serious offence.
He sentenced him to 21 months for the drug charges with a further 9 months for possessing the Taser. The £185 found on him was forfeit and the drugs and equipment are to be destroyed.