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Man caught selling drugs to clear money he owed other drug dealers

Ashley Patrice from Dalton jailed for two years

Ashley Patrice jailed for 2 years for drugs offences

Police seized drugs worth more than £1,700 after stopping a man leaving a house they were watching in Netherton, a court heard.

Adam Walker, prosecuting, said officers were “acting on information” when they began keeping surveillance on the property on November 16 last year.

Initially when they stopped Ashley Patrice they found only a small amount of drugs on him but when he was taken to the police station and asked if he had any more on him he produced two black bags.

Mr Walker told Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Friday) two amounts of crack cocaine with a street value of £1,035 were then discovered inside along with 14.1 grammes of heroin already divided into 72 individual deals which were estimated to have a street value of £720.

Two mobile phones had also been seized and one of them was found to have text messages consistent with street dealing. In addition £455 in cash was found on Patrice.

The court heard he was jailed for 42 months in 2009 for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

Angus McDonald, representing Patrice, said he had become involved in the current offences as a result of his conviction in 2009. Because the drugs involved in that case had been lost “individuals involved in that continued to hound him to repay the debt.”

Mr McDonald added: “It is not an excuse simply an explanation why he behaved in the way he did on this occasion.”

He accepted custody was inevitable which would impact on his family. His grandmother had written of the care he gave her.

Mr McDonald said Patrice was also suffering from depression which meant “he is somebody perhaps more susceptible to pressures.”

Patrice, 34 of Harpe Inge, Dalton, admitted possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for two years.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC said he accepted because of the circumstances Patrice’s case fell at the lower end of the scale.

Having read the psychological report and letters from his mother and grandmother that outlined his personal limitations, he said “they are very concerned and understandably so for your welfare.”

There had to be a jail term but he was able to reduce it.

The judge added: “Having regard to what I have read and heard about you I am satisfied to a significant extent you have been exploited by others.”

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