A chef who became a class A drug dealer after work dried up during the Covid-19 pandemic has been jailed for more than three years.
Police raided the Lake District home of 29-year-old Liam David Ellison at dawn on January 29 and found wraps of cocaine and cannabis, and a cache of weapons comprising a machete, police-style baton, knuckleduster and a BB gun with metal pellets which had the appearance of a handgun.
Officers had gone there after another man was arrested on suspicion of a drugs crime, and substance supply messages sent by Ellison were found on his phone.
Before a search started, Ellison was noted to be two other males, but told police: “Everything is mine. Everything there is down to me. They have nothing to do with it.”
Ellison initially pointed police to a metal tin containing 11 wraps of cannabis. They then discovered a shoe box which contained dozens of cocaine wraps potentially worth £2,400, two phones, a pill press, small weighing scales and bagging material.
Ellison, of Lake Road, Ambleside, made no comment in interview but during a first magistrates’ court appearance admitted possessing both cannabis and cocaine with intent to supply between 7th December and 29th January.
Anthony Parkinson, defending, said the chef had seen a significant reduction in his household income as his work reduced and his partner was placed on furlough.
“He had no support in the form of grants or loans or anything of that nature,” said Mr Parkinson.
“He made the decision to supply drugs over a relatively short period of time in order to clear the debts and have some form of income.”
Mr Parkinson added: “He is realistic, and he comes to court today knowing he will not walk out the same door, so to speak.”
Ellison was jailed for a total of 37 months by the judge, Recorder Abigail Hudson. “To destroy the lives of others by supplying drugs, that demonstrates profound self-interest,” she said.
“As you have accepted, a custodial sentence is inevitable today.”