No jail for Shrewsbury father of five caught with cocaine packages under his bed
A Shrewsbury man who was found with thousands of pounds worth of cocaine under his bed has avoided an immediate prison term.
Police discovered the cocaine when they raided Brian Roberts' home on April 7 last year, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.
Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, said officers found Roberts at home and he told them he was holding something for someone else under his bed.
They found packages of cocaine worth between £2,100 and £3,440.
Roberts was arrested and interviewed.
Mr Searle said: "He said he allowed the dealer to store the drugs in his property."
He said Roberts told officers he intended to give the cocaine back to the dealer the next day.
Roberts, aged 39, of Langford Green, Harlescott, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply at an earlier court hearing.
Mr Robert Edwards, representing Roberts, said he had a strong work ethic and has five children.
He said: "Whilst the custody threshold is clearly passed, to send him into prison means he would lose his employment and his five children will suffer."
He said Roberts paid child maintenance to their mother.
Mr Edwards added: "It was an offence of the greatest stupidity.
"In terms of his employment, he has a good reference.
"He travels all over the country and surveys work that needs to be carried out on heritage sites."
Sentencing Roberts, Judge Jim Tindal told him: "You've got five children.
"You've got a good job.
"I cannot imagine what went through your head to hold on to a considerable amount of drugs for a drug dealer.
"I think you realised how stupid you had been from the start."
He handed Roberts a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He will also have to do 200 hours unpaid work and abide by a curfew for three months between the hours of 7pm and 5am.
Making his final remarks, Judge Tindal told Roberts: "Do the mature thing, put this behind you. You are a father.
"You have no business in the cells."
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