A vulnerable Luton man who was exploited by a ‘friend’ to store drugs for him was spared jail by a Judge at Luton Crown Court on Friday.
The 41 year old man’s solicitor Stephen Halloran said he had felt obligated to let his home be used for storing crack cocaine and some cash because he was in debt to the drug dealer.
Judge Stuart Bridge said he accepted the defendant had only become involved through ‘naivety and exploitation’.
The man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and possessing criminal property. He was given an 18 month prison sentence suspended for two years with a twelve month drug rehabilitation requirement.
The drug dealer was jailed for five years.
The court was told that the drug dealer was caught after bragging to undercover police officers about the extent of his drug dealing.
It led police to search the friend’s ‘safe house’ where they found some crack cocaine, £1,780 in cash and a mobile phone belonging to the dealer.
Solicitor, Mr Halloran representing the man said: “Unfortunately he felt obligated because he owed money to him (the drug dealer). He was vulnerable and allowed his premises to be used. He is now taking steps to deal with his addiction.”
Judge Bridge told the defendant: “You were being exploited by your friend and you were a vulnerable person with a drug addiction, but you are taking active steps to deal with that.”