Drug dealer 'pressured' into selling heroin and cocaine in Blackpool by gang over unpaid debt
A dad caught supplying heroin and cocaine to undercover officers told a court he was "under pressure" from dealers due to a drugs debt.
Christopher Teasdale, 57, now of Selby Road, Riccall, York, said he had been arrested in 2012 in possession of drugs and paraphernalia , which were seized by the authorities, leaving him in debt to a drug dealing gang that operated between Liverpool and Blackpool.
He was previously jailed for three years and after his release the criminals caught up with him and pressured him to deal drugs to pay off the debt for the items that had been seized.
Preston Crown Court heard that, in December 2017, he supplied cocaine and heroin to investigators.
The prosecution barrister said one of the officers - Jason - had received a text message at 8.30am offering the sale of drugs, and a further one at 10.30am.
Later that morning, he and another officer - Emma - travelled into Blackpool to buy two wraps of heroin, and arranged to meet the 'dealer' on a pub car park.
Teasdale was seen in the front seat of a car, waiting to meet them, and supplied them with drugs for £25.
The following day a similar deal took place on the same car park.
The defendant was arrested in April 2019 and admitted the offences.
In interview, Teasdale said he had been 'tracked down' and told to deal drugs, and was directed to supply drugs to street users and drop off the money.
The court heard the drugs criminals above Teasdale had been investigated as part of two major drugs probes in the resort - Operation Mallard and Operation Moth.
Defending, Tom Lord said Teasdale had "bizarrely" only tried his drug at 48, going straight to crack cocaine - then spiralling into addiction.
By his mid-50s he was hooked on class A drugs.
Sentencing him to three years in prison, Judge Philip Parry said: " At 57 years of age it's depressing to see the likes of you before the court.
"You were caught between two well-known drug dealing gangs between Liverpool and Blackpool."
The judge referred to Operation Moth, which aimed to catch people deployed onto Blackpool's streets to "do the dirty work of the drugs gangs".
He added: "I know full well the role that you played, but it's also important you know sentences of people like you have to have an element of deterrent."