March drug dealers spared jail

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Two drug dealers from March, who were arrested after a tip-off to police because of the smell of cannabis coming from the home of one of them, have been spared jail.

Matthew Sheriff, 33, who was getting cocaine and cannabis on behalf of friends, and Ryan Stacey, 24, who was trying to earn some money after he lost his job, were sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court.

Sheriff, who at the time of the offences was living at Mercedes House, Abbeygate Court, March, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and of cannabis on January 10 last year from that flat.

Now of Cherrywood Avenue, March, he was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

Stacey, of Burrowmoor Road, March, who pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply, received 14 months, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

Sentencing them Judge Mark Lucraft QC said 256g of class B cannabis and 101g of class A cocaine were seized at Sheriff’s flat, together worth about £8,000.

He said Sheriff obtained drugs for friends rather than going out on the street to supply people he didn’t know.

Stacey had lost his job and was struggling to pay bills and got involved in drug dealing. He had bought £200 worth of cocaine and intended to sell it for £450.

Prosecutor Hugh Vass said police went to Mercedes House after hearing rumours about the smell of cannabis in the block.

When they knocked on the door, someone asked for “the password”.

Inside they found wraps, white powder on scales and other drug paraphernalia.

Mitigating for Sheriff, John Farmer said he was not addicted to cocaine but was an habitual user of cannabis.

He was remorseful and determined to do something about it. He had lost his home as a result of this.

He continued : “At the time he was very low and vulnerable and was drawn into this. It’s a complete blip in his life. He has now put his life together.”

Charles Snelling, for Stacey, said at the time he had lost his job and split up with his girlfriend and had run up debts.

He had been taking cocaine for two years but now didn’t take it.