A DRUG user who became a dealer and was seen at the scene of an illegal exchange outside a secondary school has been spared immediate prison.
Ashley Bell, 24, was the passenger of a car seen by police on the lookout for illicit substance supply outside Appleby Grammar School on the evening of October 3, 2018.
“They saw a 17-year-old boy get into a yellow Audi for a short period before getting out and walking away,” prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith told Carlisle Crown Court.
That boy was detained and found in possession of three bags of class B drug MCAT, an additional quantity of which was discovered inside the Audi along with weighing scales and cash after it was stopped.
Analysis of a mobile phone attributed to Bell revealed messages linked to the advertisement of drug availability and supply, the first dating back several weeks.
Bell, of Brentfield Way, Penrith, made no comment in interview but later admitted being concerned in MCAT supply.
The court heard today (FRI) he progressed to dealing after losing a long-term relationship and employment.
“He turned from user to supplier with inevitable consequences,” said Mark Shepherd, defending.
After receiving a positive progress report and highlighting the case progression delay, Judge Nicholas Barker suspended a 10-month prison term for two years, also imposing rehabilitation and 180 hours’ unpaid work.
“You were in this car,” said the judge, “outside Appleby Grammar School, and you were dealing to young people, teenagers. That’s a serious matter.”