Pubdate: Tue, 20 Jan 2009
Source: News, The (UK)
Copyright: 2009, The News
Author: Simon Jones
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Youth)


A teenage drug dealer has been jailed after he was caught peddling crack
cocaine on the streets of Portsmouth.

The 16-year-old was spotted handing wraps of the class A drug to known
addicts by undercover police officers.

The Portsmouth student, who can't be named for legal reasons, was stopped
just moments after he was seen dealing drugs in Chichester Road, North
End, on August 7, last year.

Officers found he had 17 wraps of crack cocaine and ?162.50 in cash in his

Drugs experts believe the haul could have fetched more than ?300 if it had
been sold in individual wraps.

The teenager was arrested and taken to Portsmouth Central Police Station.

When he was interviewed he claimed he had found the drugs discarded on the
ground in Hilsea and decided to pick them up.

The boy said he had realised the stash was drugs but denied dealing the
crack cocaine to addicts for cash.

But he changed his story when he appeared at youth court and pleaded
guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.

The case was transferred to Portsmouth Crown Court because it was such a
serious offence and the youth was jailed for 18 months by Judge Graham

He is likely to spend half the sentence in a young offender's institution
before he is released into the community on licence.

Once he has been freed the probation service will monitor him in the
community for the remainder of the sentence.

Police welcomed the sentence and said it was unusual to find teenage boys
dealing drugs on the streets of Portsmouth.

PC Tony Jeacock added: 'This sentence is a chilling reminder that,
regardless of age, if you are convicted of drug dealing you face a long
prison sentence.

'In many ways this is a sad case because the defendant is so young.

'It is fairly unusual to find youths this young dealing in Portsmouth - it
is more common in the bigger cities like London.'
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