Jail for Telford drug dealer who hid crack in his boxer shorts

A Telford drug dealer who hid crack in his boxer shorts has been jailed for "peddling life-ruining poison for money".

Shrewsbury Crown Court, where Tavien Dolphin was sentenced
Shrewsbury Crown Court, where Tavien Dolphin was sentenced

Tavien Dolphin, 22, was given a week to confess his sins to his family after pleading guilty to possession of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply and of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

On his return to Shrewsbury Crown Court for sentencing, his partner and nine-month-old son watched on from the public gallery as Debra White, defending Dolphin, pleaded for Judge Peter Barrie not to send him straight to jail.

She pointed to "significant progress" he had made in his life and his lack of offending since these drugs charges from 2018, as well as the "strong bond" he has with his young son.

But Judge Barrie jailed Dolphin for three-and-a-half years, and told him: "The sentencing guidelines are there for a reason. You were peddling a life-ruining poison for money. It is a social evil of the highest order. The reason the punishment is so harsh is to stop people from doing it."

The court heard earlier how police officers arrived at Dolphin's flat in Dawley Road, Arleston, Telford, at around 10.30am on June 6, 2018, but searched the property and couldn't find him.

Eventually police saw movement in the bathroom and discovered a topless Dolphin fidgeting with his crotch. He was arrested and taken to Malinsgate police station in Telford where he said he would fight officers if they tried to strip search him.

He removed his clothing and concealed under his boxer shorts was a black pot containing 1.56g crack cocaine, 454mg of heroin in wraps and another 2.15g of crack in the form of a rock inside a Kinder Surprise-style egg. The total street value of the drugs was around £400, and officers also found £425 cash on him.

A mobile phone was also found to contain messages which an expert described as "very clear that drug dealing was going on," according to prosecutor Dean Easthope.

Dolphin, whose address was given as Dawley Road, Telford, although the court heard he was actually living in Leicester, initially accepted possession of the drugs but claimed they were for personal use, not dealing.

He eventually admitted charges relating to dealing on what would have been the first day of his trial.

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