Cocaine couriers caught on A500 are jailed
TWO men have been jailed for two years after they acted as couriers of cocaine worth upto £15,000.
Nicholas Berrisford and Donovan Molloy were stopped on the A500 bringing the class A drug into the Potteries from Manchester on September 16 last year.
Prosecutor Heather Chamberlin yesterday told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court Berrisford was the driver and Molloy the passenger.
"They were both searched at the police station. Molloy said he had cocaine in his underwear and he produced a lump of cocaine, 27.9 grams, with a 73 per cent purity," said Miss Chamberlin.
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The court heard Berrisford was foundwith 27.7 grams of cocaine with a 74 per cent purity.
Both packages had a value of between £3,920 and £7,840.
The defendants' homes were searched and police found a set of digital scales in the laundry room at Molloy's address. And cannabis vegetation worth £115 was found at Berrisford's house.
Berrisford, aged 25, of Knypersley Road, Norton, and Molloy, aged 25, of Willowbrook Walk, Norton Heights, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply. Berrisford also admitted possession of cannabis.
Paul Cliff, mitigating for Berrisford, said his client acted as a courier to repay a debt he accrued in relation to his own drug use.
But he said since his arrest Berrisford has made positive changes.
"He has stopped using illegal drugs, reduced his drinking and started to use the gym regularly," added Mr Cliff.
Robert Smith, representing Molloy, said his client experimented with cannabis at school which led to him using harder drugs.
"It has been the evil that pervaded his life," said Mr Smith.
He said Molloy had abstained from using cocaine for six or seven months.
"There was some pressure and an element of coercion to this offence," added Mr Smith.
"When faced with an offer he could not refuse from a main player, he felt he had no option but to comply."
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said those who involve themselves in supplying class A drugs can expect to go to prison.
"Your cases are all too familiar," said the judge. "Because the two of you, some time ago, began to dabble with drugs, probably cannabis.
"Over time it turned to class A drugs and became one of the most addictive drugs, cocaine. Then, in turn, debts began to accumulate and that placed both of you in a vulnerable position as far as suppliers were concerned.
"You were asked to be couriers for significant amounts from Manchester back to Staffordshire. You were to receive gain, a reduction of debt to your supplier.
"In each case, almost an ounce of cocaine with a value of £8,000 if cut up on the streets. It is such an addictive drug. It causes misery, even worse. You crossed the line."
Judge Trevor-Jones added: "You both come from highly respectable and decent families. Both are young men of some talent. You are both in a settled relationship, both have expressed genuine remorse and you both have a decent work ethic. But there has to be an immediate custodial sentence for those involved in any form of supply of class A drugs."