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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Carlisle man turned to drug dealing after friend’s death

A young cocaine dealer who blamed his decision to peddle the deadly drug on the tragic death of his best friend has been locked up.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how 20-year-old Jordan Robson was caught red handed as he tried to smuggle several wraps of the class A drug worth hundreds of pounds into a city nightclub.

Police later confirmed that Robson, from Strawberry Terrace, Stanwix, was carrying or storing at his home more than 16 grams of the drug, with a street value of £650.

The defendant admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and supplying the drug over 11 months.

In court, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson described how Robson was caught thanks to the vigilance of a doorman working at the Concrete nightclub in Lowther Street, Carlisle, on New Year’s Eve last year.

As he searched the defendant, the doorman noticed a bulge in one of his pockets and asked what it was.

“Mr Robson said it was money,” said Mr Rogerson, who outlined how the defendant then pretended he was answering his mobile phone to distract the doorman’s attention from the search.

Undeterred, the doorman completed the search and found the drugs – each deal wrapped in a tiny plastic packet.

Robson was also carrying £230 in cash. A search of his bedroom uncovered digital scales, £320 in cash, and more cocaine stored in plastic bags.

A police analysis of Robson’s phone found there was ample evidence that he had been dealing in cocaine for just under a year.

His messages were peppered with references to “beak”, a slang word for the drug, and a crude attempt to advertise with the words: “Lads, I’m out tonight if you want owt”.

In a frank interview, Robson told police that he regularly bought £500 of cocaine from a dealer so he could then sell it on to his Carlisle friends in one gram deals for £40.

Nick Peacock, for Robson, said his client was “a foolish young man” who had previously been a person of good character. He quoted from background reports which described the sudden death of Robson’s unnamed “best friend”.

“This was a young man who had grown up with Mr Robson,” said the barrister. “Mr Robson had played football with him. They were best friends.”

Mr Peacock said the tragedy had a profound effect on his client, who had never dealt with the grief.

“He threw himself into bodybuilding, to take his mind off what had happened.

“Steroids are very easy to obtain and Mr Robson became addicted to them and tried to improve his own body image and as is often the case people who supply steroids often have access to other drugs.”

He said Robson quickly began using cocaine himself and selling the drug to fund his habit.

Referring to the death of Robson’s friend, Mr Peacock said: “His family don’t want to use that as an excuse but it explains precisely why you see a young man of previous good character standing before you having sold cocaine. It’s not justification for what he was doing but it is an explanation.”

The barrister handed in character references, including one from the boss of the Carlisle car firm which employs Robson.

While waiting for the case to come to court, said the barrister, the defendant sought help from a drugs agency and had now kicked his habit.

Recorder John Corless sent Robson to a Young Offenders’ Institution for one year.

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