Pair caught in Telford with drugs spared jail - but must serve curfew time

Two men caught in a car with crack cocaine and heroin four years ago have been spared a return to prison.

Shrewsbury Crown Court
Shrewsbury Crown Court

Matthew Brown, 40, and Neil Jamieson, 54, were inside a vehicle that was seen by plain-clothed police officers, in Telford, on April, 5, 2017.

But had previously served jail terms for dealing.

Alison Whalley, prosecuting, said the defendants were inside a Peugeot spotted, in Newcomen Way, in Woodside. She said when it was searched the officers seized 64 wraps of crack, 42 wraps of heroin, £180 in cash and two mobile phones.

The pair, who both have previous convictions, denied supplying crack cocaine and heroin, but subsequently their pleas to guilty.

Mitgating on Jamieson's behalf Mr Charnjit Jutlasaid: "He stands by his guilty pleas and accepts his responsibility."

At the sentencing hearing on Thursday the court heard that since the incident both defendants had stayed out of trouble and Brown had taken custody of his teenage son who had no-none else to look after him.

Jamieson had 51 previous convictions for 34 offences and was jailed for three years for similar offences in 2011. Brown 16 previous convictions for 65 offences and was jailed for two years and a half years for similar offences in 2013.

The court heard that the case took 12 months for the preliminary magistrates court hearing, followed by an further two-year delay, partly caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A trial was then set for February at Shrewsbury Crown Court when the men admitted the offences.

Judge Anthony Lowe told them that the delayed proceedings had placed the court in difficulty, but that a balance had to be struck due to the nature of the offences and the pair's history.

"In my judgement an immediate custodial sentence is plainly justified. However, it is no longer justified given the delay due to the manner in which you have stayed out of trouble," the judge said.

He jailed Brown, of Rose Hill Gardens, Willenhall, and Jamieson, of Rowlands Avenue, Wolverhampton, for two years suspended for two years. Both will be subject to a curfew for nine months between 8pm and 6am, while they must also attend 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay the victims' surcharge.

A further offence was allowed to lie on file.

There was no application for a proceeds of crime hearing. Instead the court ordered the forfeiture of the cash under the Misuse of Drugs Act, forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and phone. There was no order for costs.

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