Court told of heroin and crack sold to police
TWO people who sold class A drugs to an undercover police officer have been sentenced after they were arrested during a crackdown on dealers in Guildford.
Jessica Simpson, 20, and Karl Buckingham, 38, both admitted supplying drugs to an officer known as ‘Natalia’ on separate occasions.
They appeared at Guildford Crown Court for sentencing last Friday (February 24).
Rhiannon Sadler, prosecuting in the Simpson case, told the court that Natalia made arrangements with a man called ‘J’ to collect drugs from two females on July 1 last year.
One of the women she met was Simpson, who supplied her with 452mg of heroin in return for a £20 note.
The defendant, of Herons Way, Brookwood, Woking, subsequently pleaded guilty to supplying heroin during a magistrates court hearing on January 26 this year.
John Atkinson, defending Simpson, explained to Judge John Crocker that his client suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and at the time of the offence she was not under her family’s supervision or taking her medication.
Mr Atkinson added: “This was a naive, vulnerable young woman, who has accepted her part in this.”
The court also heard from Simpson’s current employer, the owner of a hair salon, who was approached by the defendant because of her work with people with learning difficulties.
The court heard that at first the owner of the salon could not hire Simpson as she could not afford to pay her, but made arrangements with her to join voluntarily as she knew it important was for the defendant to have stability in her life.
“She almost begged me to give her a position because she wanted the routine,” she said.
“Unless she had a routine to fulfil her day she would be less organised.
“I am so proud, she is an amazing young woman,” Simpson’s employer said.
“She has really gone beyond just voluntary help, getting involved with all sorts and it is a credit to her.
“She has worked for nothing, asked for nothing and given 100% and I’m very proud of her,” she added.
“Straight and narrow”
Mr Atkinson told the court that Simpson’s circumstances had changed, that she was now under the supervision of her family and the offence was an isolated incident where she had been exploited.
When delivering the sentence, Judge Crocker said: “It is street dealing, that is the problem.
“I must confess I am very impressed by your employer, you have a lot to thank her for.
“I do think there is really no point in sending you into custody, where you will no doubt be brought under more pressure.
“It is in the public’s interest to get you back on the straight and narrow.”
Simpson was given a 51-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, plus a two-year supervision order.
“It is hanging over your head,” Judge Crocker added. “You have escaped [a prison sentence] by the skin of your teeth.”
Buckingham, of East India Dock Road, London, admitted six charges of supplying heroin and eight of supplying crack cocaine.
The court heard he was identified by Natalia after supplying her with drugs on August 4 and November 3 last year.
Kim Chiswick, defending Buckingham, told the court that over the past 10 years he had developed a drug problem and took to supplying in order to fuel his habit.
His lifestyle had cost him his relationship and his work, and his situation worsened in 2010 when his father passed away and his mother had a stroke, the court was told.
Miss Chiswick informed Judge Crocker that Buckingham did not want a Drug Rehabilitation Order (DRO) as he felt it would not help if he was surrounded by other drug users, adding that he would prefer imprisonment in order to help improve his life.
The court heard that since being in custody awaiting sentence from January 26 this year, Buckingham had become a teaching assistant, earned a level two in English and level one in Maths, and was making an effort to turn his life around.
He was jailed for three years and three months for each drug offence, the terms to run concurrently.
Judge Crocker pointed out that it was not a case of an isolated incident but accepted that Buckingham had a lesser role in the drugs supply chain.
He gave him credit for pleading guilty at the earliest possible opportunity and agreed it would not be realistic to give Buckingham a DRO.
“I take into account the fact that whilst in custody you have already tried to turn your life around,” Judge Crocker added.
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