A drug addict who sold heroin to an undercover cop has been spared jail so he can have treatment for his addiction.
Rickford Vance-Carradice, 51, met the officer on the streets of Blackpool during a sting by Lancashire olice.
When people are addicted to drugs they resort to other criminal offences to fund their drug addiction
Vance-Carradice believed he was helping out a fellow addict when he sold him a wrap of heroin from his personal supply on December 12 last year, but five months later his flat was raided by officers executing a drugs warrant.
Preston Crown Court heard Vance-Carradice, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, met the officer as he was leaving the Ladbrokes bookmakers in Dickson Road.
Recognising him from a previous occasion when they had both bought drugs from the same street dealer, Vance-Carradice phoned the dealer on behalf of the officer.
But when the dealer was unavailable, Vance-Carradice pulled three wraps of heroin, wrapped in a tissue, out of his pocket, and told the officer to take his pick.
The officer handed over £10 for a single wrap, but Vance-Carradice said if he had another £5 he could buy two for £15.
On May 24, at the end of the operation, officers raided Vance-Carradice’s flat in Dixon Road.
He told them he had a small quantity of heroin, for his own use, in an ashtray on a windowsill.
He pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to supply and one count of simple possession of heroin. The court heard Vance-Carradice has a long standing drug addiction and a history of mental health problems.
Recorder Mukhtar Hussain QC, sentencing, said: “You will know from your own knowledge, if not the knowledge in the drugs community, because you have been addicted for a long period of time, that anyone involved in Class A drug supply clearly must goto prison, because these are serious offences and the effects of the supply of Class A drugs on the people they are supplied to and the community at large.
“When people are addicted to drugs they resort to other criminal offences to fund their drug addiction.”
He handed Vance-Carradice a 20 month sentence suspended for two years with a 35 day rehabilitation activity requirement, a six month drug treatment order and £100 victim surcharge.