‘SNOW’ at Christmas helped two police officers spot a Rugby man carrying out a drug deal while they were out on patrol.
And when dealer Ross Lloyd was arrested on Christmas Day he was found to have cocaine worth up to £1,800 on him and at his home, Warwick Crown Court has heard.
Lloyd, 21, of Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply it and possessing cannabis.
But it will not add to the time he spends behind bars – because as a result of his arrest he has been recalled to prison to serve the rest of a long sentence he was on licence from at the time.
Prosecutor Richard Davenport said that at 6.30 in the evening on Christmas Day last year a police sergeant and a PC were on patrol when they saw Lloyd and another man in Lawford Road.
As soon as he saw the police car Lloyd ran off, but was traced by a CCTV operator and found hiding behind some bins in Pennington Mews.
Lloyd was detained, and when he and the area around the bins were searched, the officers found a bag containing 8 grams of cocaine, for which one of the slang terms is ‘snow.’
He was arrested, and after being taken to the police station the patrol car was checked and the officers found a bag with a small amount of cannabis worth about £20 in it.
Lloyd’s flat was then searched, and the officers found a golf ball-sized package of cocaine weighing 22.6 grams, a quantity of small re-sealable bags and £440 in cash.
Mr Davenport said the cocaine found at the scene and in the flat had a street value of up to £1,800 – and on Lloyd’s phone were messages which clearly related to drug dealing.
When he was first interviewed he claimed he had bought the cocaine for ‘a couple of hundred pounds’ for his own use, and in a later interview he simply made no comment about the drugs.
Mr Davenport added that at the time Lloyd was on licence from a sentence of five-and-a-half years imposed at the court in 2012 for his part in a serious aggravated burglary when he and two others used an axe to smash their way into a young couple’s home.
And as a result of his arrest for the drugs offences he has been recalled to serve the rest of that sentence, from which he is not due to be released until July 2017.
Andrew Tucker, defending, observed: “Because of this matter, any application he might have made for parole has been made pointless.
“He is plainly a young man who, for some time before these offences, was struggling to mature. He fell into the wrong company and found it very difficult to break away.
“When he was released in October last year he was provided with accommodation, but he unwisely moved away from that – and didn’t make a success of living independently.
“He didn’t have a class A drug habit before his release; but one developed, and he was selling drugs to fund his own habit and to make a little bit of profit.”
Jailing Lloyd and ordering the £440 in cash to be forfeited, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You were selling class A drugs on the street.
“You know class A drugs ruin people’s lives, because you’re in danger of them ruining yours.”
But she pointed out that because he has been recalled to prison, he will remain inside for the next 21 months – so because his 40-month sentence will run ‘from today,’ it will not add to the time he has to serve before again being freed on licence.
And the judge told him: “What you need to do this time is to make use of the support you have got from your family.
“You are still young enough to start a completely new life for yourself; and I very much hope you do that when you get out.”