Prison for drug user with £13k in heroin

John Shillcock

John Shillcock

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A DRUG user caught with more than £13,000 worth of heroin on him has been jailed for more than three years.

John Shillcock drew a police officer’s attention by pouring vodka into a cola bottle in an alleyway off Shaftesbury Avenue, North Shore, Blackpool.

A plastic bag was then seen tucked into the waistband of his tracksuit trousers.

When the contents were checked, it was found to contain a number of bags of heroin.

Shillcock, 45, of Queens Promenade, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply and also possessing criminal property.

Preston Crown Court heard Shillcock (pictured) had run up a debt to his dealer and in order to satisfy that debt, and obtain more drugs, he had agreed to both sell and transport drugs.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said an officer on mobile patrol went over to speak to the defendant because of his behaviour in pouring the vodka into a plastic bottle.

The plastic bag was then spotted in Shillcock’s waistband. It was suspected drugs might be inside, so he was searched.

The value of the drugs came to £13,194. In addition to that, he had £1,575 cash on him.

Shillcock – who has 117 previous convictions – said he was allowed to keep one bag of heroin for every 10 he sold.

He had understood that in transporting drugs his debt would be reduced and eventually paid off.

In police interview he mentioned his drug habit cost him £40 to £50 a week.

He would use crack cocaine and heroin and was on benefits.

Judge Edward Slinger described Shillcock’s criminal record as “enormous”.

David James, defending, said it was shocking to realise heroin had taken hold of his client’s life from a young age.

The drug has continued to have a hold on him.

Mr James added “He was working under a degree of pressure and to satisfy his own habit”.

Judge Slinger passed a prison sentence of three years and four months.

He told Shillcock “It’s quite clear the dealing which you were doing was not insignificant. There was a lot going on.

“It has been accepted this was not a one-off. You had been doing this for some time and that has to be taken into for consideration as part of the sentencing exercise.

“You know the damage these drugs can cause.”.