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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Cumbrian man jailed for storing cocaine and cannabis

A man who stored illicit drugs worth more than £22,000 at his home near Carlisle has been jailed.

Derek Dowell photo
Derek Dowell

Derek Dowell, 56, agreed to “warehouse” cocaine worth nearly £16,000 and cannabis resin worth just over £6,000 – and ended up too afraid of the dealers involved to pull out of it.

At Carlisle Crown Court he pleaded guilty to possessing the Class A drug cocaine and cannabis resin – class B – with intent to supply.

Clare Thomas, prosecuting, outlined how police raided the defendant’s home at Orton Grange, to the south of the city, on February 6.

After opening the door, Dowell told the first police officer he saw: “I’ve got a quarter of an ounce of cocaine.”

He led the officers to a child’s high chair where they found clear plastic wraps containing cocaine.

Dowell then volunteered to show the officers where the remainder of the drugs were being hidden. In total, there was 2,195 grams of cannabis resin and 398 grams of cocaine at the property.

He told the police: “I only get £200 a month for this. I store it.”

Also found in the house was £700 in cash.

In police interview, Dowell said he had collected the drugs from a Carlisle supermarket car park three weeks earlier. He refused to named the person who gave him the drugs but confirmed he had provided “warehousing” for them on three occasions.

Miss Thomas said the defendant had 16 convictions for 26 separate offences, and only one previous drugs matter. Alan Lovett, for Dowell, said the defendant had agreed to take the drugs and then later found it was difficult to extricate himself.

“He bitterly regrets that he took these drugs and he tried to arrange for them to be collected but the response was that those involved would only collect the drugs when they were ready.

“They said they would only collect the drugs when he had bagged them up. He was afraid of what they might do.”

Jailing Dowell for two years and eight months, Recorder John Corless accepted that the defendant felt under pressure but he added: “You were an essential cog in the supply chain. Without people prepared to store drugs, it would make it difficult for people who want to deal on the streets.”

He added that Dowell had stored “significant” quantities of the drugs and had played a significant role.

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