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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Carlisle man cleared of planning to supply heroin

A man has been cleared of planning to supply heroin which he said was for his own use.

Benjamin Reynolds, 30, earlier admitted having 3.25g of the Class A drug – which had a street value of around £320.

There were loud cheers from the public gallery when the jury returned the not guilty verdict at the end of a two-day trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

But the possession offence, in February this year, was committed just four months after he was given a suspended jail sentence for intent to supply the Class B drug amphetamine.

David Wales, defending, said that Reynolds – a self-confessed heroin user – was not going to “binge” on the drug and had reduced his intake while taking part in a drug rehabilitation programme.

He added: “He was beginning to substitute methadone for heroin, he had a perfect appointment record and had completed a lot of unpaid work.

“The drug rehabilitation referral appears to have been working.”

Mr Wales added that the amount of time spent in custody fell just three days short of the original suspended sentence.

Judge Peter Hughes QC said he would activate the original suspended sentence and imposed a further three-month jail term, which was suspended for two years, for possession of heroin.

Reynolds, of Red Bank Terrace, Currock, Carlisle, was also ordered to complete a 12-month community order with supervision, 80 hours of unpaid work as well as a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

The judge said that it was a large amount of heroin, adding: “You still have a significant heroin habit – the evidence reveals that.

“There is no alternative but to reactivate that suspended sentence.

“You’ve been co-operative with the drug rehabilitation requirement and carried out some unpaid work.”

Police raided Reynold’s flat in Chatsworth Square, where he lived with his wife Leanne, on February 18.

During the raid officers seized a number of items, including a Kinder Egg which was found on a flat roof, and two sets of digital weighing scales, one bearing traces of heroin, cocaine, Paracetamol and caffeine.

Also found in a bin in the defendant’s bedroom was a plastic bag, with its corners cut off which was a common way of packaging heroin.

The court heard that an analysis of the brown powder substance found in the egg had confirmed it was heroin which weighted 3.25 grams, and was 17 per cent pure.

However there were no drug-related messages on Reynolds’ mobile phone and the judge said that he said he had used money raised from the sale of jewellery to buy the drugs.

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