A DRUGS dealer has been jailed for seven years – under the “three strikes” rules.
David Bartholomew, 21, had already been convicted twice of drugs crimes when he was caught up in Operation Greystoke – a huge undercover police sting in Huddersfield, targeting the drugs trade.
Now he is behind bars for seven years after being caught selling heroin and cocaine to undercover police officers.
Bartholomew was arrested as part of Operation Greystoke after he was involved in the supply of the Class A drugs last year and following a five-day trial at Bradford Crown Court he was convicted of drug dealing offences.
At his sentence hearing yesterday it emerged that the 21-year-old, of Crossfields, Dalton, already had two previous convictions for drug dealing on his record and was eligible for a minimum seven-year jail term under the so-called ‘three strikes’ legislation.
In 2006 Bartholomew was given a community rehabilitation and punishment order for offences involving heroin and crack cocaine and in 2007 he was locked up for 42 months for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.
The latest offences committed in August and October last year were committed within months of his release from the three-and-a-half year sentence.
Bartholomew, whose nickname was said to be Lucifer, was one of a number of street dealers arrested as part of the police operation.
He is understood to have been dealing on the streets in the Moldgreen and Waterloo areas.
Although his barrister Ruth Cranage accepted that her client was eligible for the seven-year minimum sentence she pointed out that the latest offences actually involved heroin and cocaine worth only £160.
Judge Jonathan Rose told Bartholomew that it was clear that his previous sentences had not deterred him from further involvement in drug dealing.
The judge branded Bartholomew a “committed criminal and drug dealer” and with reference to the recent murders of three sex workers in West Yorkshire he highlighted the wider impact on the community of drugs being sold to addicts.
The judge said such addicts could only fund their habits by selling drugs themselves, committing acquisitive crime such as burglary or robbery, or by working in the sex trade.
“Therefore the courts will respond to men like you who drive the supply of drugs on the streets with a necessary harshness and that’s what is going to happen to you today,” the judge told Bartholomew.
Judge Rose conceded that the lengthy jail term may be seen as harsh or draconian but he told Bartholomew that if he did not stay away from drugs the sentences would get greater.