Dealer tried to swallow drugs

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man has been jailed after he tried to swallow a stash of drugs during a police raid.

Preston Crown Court heard that Liam Mason developed breathing difficulties and lost colour in his face after swallowing the drugs.

And when a police constable gave him a slap on the back, he coughed up a wrap of crack cocaine.

The 22-year-old has now been given a total of 37 months in prison after appearing in court for two offences.

Mason, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply and also possessing criminal property – cash.

He was told to pay a £120 surcharge.

John Woodward, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said police executed a search warrant on September 11 at an address on Cookson Street, Blackpool.

The defendant was seen in a small room and was handcuffed.

Mr Woodward told the court: “He appeared somewhat agitated. A police constable also noticed he was showing signs of breathing difficulties.

“He described the defendant as losing colour in his face. The officer had suspicious he might have swallowed, or hidden some drugs.”

When asked if he had swallowed any drugs, Mason shook his head.

Mr Woodward added: “A few minutes later it was noticed he was suffering breathing difficulties, so the PC gave him a couple of slaps on his back. The defendant coughed up a wrap of a white substance.”

When asked what it was, Mason said it was crack cocaine.

The total value of drugs he had, about half an ounce, was £1,200 to £1,300. In addition, £755 in cash was also found on him.

Defence barrister Chris Hudson said Mason accepted having supplied over a six week period to about half a dozen people he knew.

He had started abusing drugs in his early teens and “graduated” to Class A drugs. He ran up a drug debt.

Mr Hudson added: “He came to Blackpool to try and make a fresh start, to get away from influences in Liverpool.

“But he had debts. He was contacted and told he had to pay off those debts by supplying drugs, with some provision for himself.”

Judge Heather Lloyd told him as she passed the jail term: “You know if you deal on the streets in any type of drug, then the court has to view that seriously. On your own admission there was street dealing for about six weeks.”

“You know that a custodial sentence is inevitable”.

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