Northern Ireland news

Low-level cocaine dealer jailed after judge says practice needs 'stamped out'

Judge Patrick Lynch said "even low-level drug dealers can expect a jail sentence"

A low-level cocaine dealer is starting a six-month sentence behind bars after a judge said the practice needed "stamped out".

David Reid (34), from Daisyfield Street in Belfast, will also spend a further 18 months on licence after he pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Belfast Crown Court that the father-of-two's home was searched on October 5 last year and officers located a 'lock box' in the kitchen which contained four bags of cocaine.

When the contents were tested, it emerged that 26.5 grams of the cocaine had a purity of 55 per cent and the remaining 64.5 grams a purity of between 2-5 per cent.

Mr Jenkins said other items seized included scales, a cutting agent, a list of names and figures and two mobile phones which showed evidence of drug dealing.

The prosecutor said Reid came before the court with 12 convictions, none of which were for drugs.

Defence barrister Mark Farrell said his client had experienced problems with drugs for years and was essentially dealing to a small group of like-minded associates to pay off his own drugs debt.

He added that Reid "has been able to kick his habit" and that his family "rallied around him" and helped raise the money to pay off his debt.

Judge Patrick Lynch said that while he accepted Reid was a "bottom-level" dealer who was "peddling" cocaine to sustain his own addiction, he warned that "this behaviour will not be tolerated in society and even low-level drug dealers can expect a jail sentence".

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