Judge's shock that cocaine dealer began 'evil trade' at just 18
A judge has said it is "quite shocking" that a man became involved in what he called the "evil trade" of drug dealing at the age of just 18.
Judge Philip Babington made the comments at the Crown Court in Londonderry.
He sentenced Jordan Young (20), from Glenshane Road in Claudy, to 80 hours community service and two years of probation after the defendant admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and being concerned in supplying cocaine.
Young also admitted possessing with intent to supply cannabis and being concerned in supplying the drug. He committed the offences over five months from December 2017.
Young was caught when police on traffic duty in the village of Eglinton stopped the car he was in on suspicion of a driving offence. They noticed a strong smell of cannabis from his car. They searched it and found two plastic bags containing 13.5 grams of cocaine and just over 20 grams of cannabis. Two mobile phones and £380 in cash were also seized.
Young told police the drugs were for his personal use, but examination of his mobile phones found text messages from people asking him for cocaine and cannabis, which he would arrange to deliver to them. The messages showed he sold both drugs for cash and also offered them "on strap".
The Judge said: "His level of dealing appears to be at street level, with many of the deals being swaps rather than cash sales.
"It appears there are around seven contacts with whom he had been concerned in the supply of cannabis and about three with whom he had been concerned in the supply of cocaine.
"He was later reinterviewed and gave a no comment interview, although he did accept that the names found in his contacts in relation to the messages were friends.
"He has been assessed as medium likelihood of reoffending. It does not seem that he made any great money out of his drug dealing, which was fairly limited. It appears to have been for living expenses and in particular the expense of running a car.
"This is serious offending, as all drug dealing is, especially that involving a class A drug such as here.
"It is quite shocking when someone of such tender years as you becomes involved in this evil trade. You were very much at the periphery of it and it seems that when you were involved you were 18 at the very start and it may just be that your arrest by the police and your apparent conversion may have come in time."
He ordered that £380 found in Young's car be donated to drugs counselling organisation HURT.