Lawtons managed to get the defendant a suspended sentence stating his unemployed client suffered depression and was remorseful about the offence.
The 31 year old was arrested outside his home in St Albans after collecting half a gram of cocaine from a dealer and handing it over to a friend in a van. The deal, at twenty past eight in the evening on 25 July last year, was seen by police officers, who arrested both men, St Albans Crown Court heard Friday 8th April.
Police found a sexually explicit chat with a 14 year old girl on the mobile phone they seized from a man they caught dealing a wrap of cocaine.
Prosecutor Ann Evans said the defendant told the police he was in a betting shop and a friend asked him to get him some cocaine. He took £60 from the friend and went to the dealer, who gave him the wrap and £10 change.
“He fully cooperated with the police and showed a great deal of remorse,” said Mrs Evans. The man in the van was cautioned.
The police examined the mobile phone. They found no evidence of drug dealing, but uncovered explicit chats between the defendant and a 14-year-old girl from Leicestershire.
The prosecutor said: “She describes back in December 2014 she got a BBM friend request from someone she did not know.”
She communicated with the defendant and, from May, the girl said the messages started to become rude. Although he knew she was 14, he sent her indecent images. She did not send him explicit pictures of herself and although he asked her for sex, they never met.
The man pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Stuart Sprawson, defending, said in the drugs case the driver was a personal friend who wanted a small amount for personal use.
“There is no mitigation for the sexual offence. He was the adult and became aware of her age. At first she said she was 16 then said she was 14. It happened over a short period. Nothing happened,” he said.
Mr Sprawson asked for a suspended sentence to be passed.
Judge Marie Catterson agreed and passed a 12 month sentence suspended for 18 months. He will have 12 months’ supervision by probation officers and must attend an activity requirement of 60 days.
A 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order banned him from having unsupervised contact of any kind with girls under 16 and banned him from using the Internet to contact any girl under 16.
The phone and drugs are to be destroyed.
The judge said: “At times the victim’s own messages were explicit. Any 14 year old sending such messages is obviously vulnerable and in need of protection. You were 30 – a significant age difference.”