AN EGREMONT man reacted furiously after a judge jailed him for drug supply offences that he committed four years ago.

Carlisle Crown Court judge Michael Fanning gave 40-year-old Duncan Kelly a three year jail term after hearing how the defendant was caught with cocaine that was potentially worth up to £6,000. 

He also had other incriminating evidence, including a debtors’ list. The defendant had earlier admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Prosecutor Tim Evans outlined how the offending came to light in October of 2019 when police visited the defendant’s home in Egremont while investigating an unrelated issue.

The officers searched Kelly’s home and found a Jiffy bag containing “a significant quantity of cocaine”, 130g of the drug, assessed to be 49 per cent pure.

The officers also found the customer list and a mobile phone. When examined, it was found to contain 51 messages, 40 of which related to the supply of cocaine, said Mr Evans.

This was happening between March 2019 and October that year “The messages were plainly consistent with supply throughout that period,” said the barrister. Messages also suggested bulk purchases of the drug.

The court heard that Kelly’s criminal record includes 48 previous offences, many involving dishonest.  There were also previous offences of cocaine possession and criminal damage.

“It’s the record of someone who has problems with drink and drugs,” observed Mr Evans. He added that the prosecution view was the Kelly had played a “significant role” in the drug supply operation.

Throughout the prosecutor’s opening remarks, Kelly repeatedly interrupted, complaining about the case, shaking his head and jabbing his finger towards the judge, who warned him to be silent or face being taken to the cells.

Sean Harkin, defending, said a background report had highlighted the defendant’s struggle with his mental health, including anxiety and depression.

“He has taken medication for that since the age of 12,” said the lawyer. “He is clearly anxious today and that perhaps explains his behaviour rather than any disrespect for the court. He does not intend any disrespect.”

The defendant had suffered bereavements and was in a bad way, said the lawyer.

“His dad died and at the time that did not help with his spiral into drink and drug addiction, which has led to his offending,” said Mr Harkin. “

Mr Harkin said Kelly, of Beck Green, Egremont, became involved in dealing to fund his own addiction to the drug involved.

But the unexplained delay in bringing the case to court had allowed Kelly to “turn his life around,” continued Mr Harkin.

Kelly was now in full-time work and had accommodation, advantages he would lose if jailed. Mr Harkin added that a suspended jail term would allow the defendant to be rehabilitated within the community.

Judge Fanning said it was clear the defendant had not been simply a “low level street dealer” of cocaine.  Kelly had a “management function” within the drug supply chain, said the judge.

“The fact is that you were an integral link in the chain and your role was therefore significant,” said the judge.

“People who engage in this sort of dealing, spreading misery, creating crime, deserve to go to prison.”

As he was led away, the defendant could be heard angrily shouting and banging walls or doors as he complained loudly that he committed the offences “five years ago,” though it was in fact four years ago.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Martyn Park said: “Cumbria Constabulary takes all cases of drug supply very seriously and we know the impact this can have on our communities.

“We aim to work with our partners throughout the criminal justice process to keep them aware of time scales.

“We will review this case in the light of the judge’s comments. We always welcome feedback and comments from our partners in the criminal justice system.”