Man caught with over £2,000 of heroin avoids jail - The Rugby Observer

Man caught with over £2,000 of heroin avoids jail

Rugby Editorial 18th Oct, 2019   0

JUST three days after being caught with £1,400 worth of heroin he had picked up for his dealer, a Rugby man was caught heading back from Birmingham with more of the drug.

But despite pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of possessing heroin with intent to supply it, Simon Robbins has escaped a three-and-a-half year jail term.

Robbins, 38, of Market Street – who also admitted a burglary, handling stolen property and producing cannabis – was given a two-year community order with a rehabilitation activity.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said that in August last year Robbins and another man burgled a house in Browning Road, Rugby.

He was arrested on September 15, and when his home was searched the police found two stolen bicycles which he admitted handling, cannabis plants and 14 grams of heroin worth £1,400.

Robbins was granted bail, and three days later police pulled over a VW Golf heading towards Rugby from Birmingham.

Before Robbins, who was driving, pulled over, his front seat passenger was seen to throw away a package – later found to contain heroin worth around £700.

When questioned, Robbins claimed he had bought it for his own use and had asked his passenger to throw it from the car when he saw the police behind him.

Mr Simpson pointed out Robbins had entered his pleas on the basis that on the first occasion he had collected the drugs for his dealer, and the police search had taken place before he had been able to pass them on.

Then on the second occasion he had been to Birmingham to collect drugs for himself, but was going to give some of it to his dealer to replace heroin he had been given in advance.

Mr Simpson added that Robbins had previous convictions for violence and dishonesty, but none for burglary or drug offences.

Dean Kershaw, defending, said Robbins was growing the cannabis for his own use, and it had been his first grow.

At the time Robbins was in the grip of a drug addiction, and had been pressurised to drive his dealer to Birmingham to get drugs, in return for which he would get three wraps for himself.

On the day the police went to his home he had been asked to go alone to collect the heroin, but it was found before he was able to hand it over.

His arrest had brought him to his senses and he decided to stop acting as a runner and to get help for his addiction.

But until that could be put in place, he needed some for himself and went to get some, having agreed to drop off the three bags he owed his dealer when he got back to Rugby.

Mr Kershaw said that Robbins, who he described as ‘a nice young man who puts on a hard exterior,’ had been to college and qualified as an electrician.

“He is clean of alcohol and clean of drugs and in stable accommodation, and there have been no further offences since then,” he added.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told Robbins: “The appropriate sentence for the drugs would be three-and-a-half years and for the burglary, in which you were playing a lesser role, it would be two years. Even concurrent, that would be three-and-a-half years, and I can’t suspend that.

“But I am going to give you an opportunity to carry on with your life under a community order.

“If you breach it in any way, you will come back before me – and if we meet again the three-and-a-half years will be passed.”

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