A drug dealer who kept £150,000 worth of heroin in his elderly parents’ spare room has been jailed for six years.
A police raid in Stainforth, Doncaster, in January found that Graham Smith had stashed almost 3kg of the Class A substance in his family home, along with specialist drug-manufacturing equipment.
Smith, aged 40, of East Lane, Stainforth, was sentenced to six years in jail at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting possession with intent to supply.
He said he had been driven to supplying the drug to pay off a debt he owed dealers for his own heroin addiction.
Police say the heroin had a street value of around £150,000.
Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, said police found 70 grams of diamorphine – the medical name for heroin – in Smith’s bedroom at his parents’ house, along with 21 bottles of methadone that belonged to another man.
They said a further search of a spare room uncovered 2.8kg of diamorphine together with equipment designed to prepare the drug ready for street dealing.
Mr Outhwaite said that after being arrested, Smith refused to answer police questions in interview but had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
He said: “This was a drug operation that involved quite substantial amounts of Class A drugs.”
The court was told Smith had no previous convictions for possessing drugs with intent to supply them, but did have an offence of possessing diamorphine on his record.
Cheryl Dudley, defending, said: “This is a man who had 20 years of addiction to heroin.
“It has affected every aspect of his life in that period.”
She said he had been at a ‘very low ebb’ and had not spoken to police in interview ‘through fear’ of the people he had become involved with.
“His record would show this a man plagued by addiction for many years,” she said.
Judge Julian Goose QC said Smith had pleaded guilty on the basis that he had built up a drugs debt and the people he owed money to had ‘demanded’ he took part in their operation in exchange for having his debt cleared.
But the judge said he did not accept Smith had acted ‘simply through pressure’ given the trust that was placed in him with the manufacture of a large quantity of drugs.
Judge Goose said the pressure he had found himself under was a consequence of becoming involved with drug dealers but added it was ‘perfectly clear’ Smith did not have influence higher up the chain.
He said Smith had 30 previous convictions for 99 offences.
Judge Goose said that if Smith had been convicted after trial, he would have been sentenced to nine years’ in jail, but his term was reduced by one-third due to his guilty plea.