Forsbrook heroin user kept drugs for dealer
A 47-YEAR-OLD who looked after thousands of pounds worth of heroin for his dealer has been spared jail by a judge – because he needs to get off drugs.
David Moore started using heroin about four years ago after becoming depressed following the death of his brother to cancer.
But he built up a £500 drugs debt to his dealer and was pressured to look after thousands of pounds worth of heroin to wipe off his debt.
However, police found the stash after raiding Moore's home in Manifold Road, Forsbrook, on April 24.
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Heather Chamberlin, prosecuting, said: "Officers noticed a man look out of an upstairs window.
"They had to run into the house and force the bathroom door as the defendant had tried to lock himself in, in an attempt to flush the drugs down the toilet.
"Officers were able to pull out two bags from the toilet and there were another two bags, a total of 110 grams."
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the heroin had a street value of £6,600.
Moore told police he knew the drugs were illegal and he was looking after them for a friend.
He said he had possession of the drugs for three to four days and would have returned them.
Moore admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply.
Paul Hyatt, mitigating, asked Judge Granville Styler to suspend any jail sentence.
He said: "He was only in possession of the seized drugs for three to four days prior to his arrest.
"The drugs did not belong to him, but to his dealer who Moore owed a £500 debt. If he did not agree to do this there would be reprisals.
"He agreed to hold on to the seized drugs only for a short period of time, then he would give them back to his dealer."
Moore, who has been married for more than 20 years, started taking heroin four years ago.
Mr Hyatt added: "He was depressed at the time and decided to take heroin to improve his mood.
"His brother died four years ago of cancer and three years ago he was made redundant."
The court heard Moore, who has worked as a glass blower and was employed by Michelin and JCB, is no longer using heroin. And he has done so well on a drug reduction programme that those who run the scheme want him to go back and help others.
Judge Styler decided not to jail Moore because of his success on the programme. He sentenced him to a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
Judge Styler said: "Because of your age and a solid work record, the public would be better served by trying to get you completely off drugs rather than send you to prison."
The judge added Moore will be re-sentenced if he provides positive drug tests.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Judge Styler ruled Moore benefited by £3,000 and made a confiscation order for that amount.
Moore must also pay £1,200 costs.