Drug dealer spared jail for second time

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A convicted drug dealer is counting his lucky stars again after being spared prison despite being caught with a stash of heroin.

James Hardy, 30, was spared the clang of the prison gates in 2014 after police caught him with six bags of cannabis, 20 diazepam tablets and some heroin.

Instead, he was given a suspended prison sentence, despite his conviction for being concerned in the supply of cannabis, amphetamine and diazepam.

Two years on, he found himself staring at a prison stretch once again, but walked free from court this week despite a flagrant breach of the suspended sentence.

Hardy, of Albion Terrace, Whitby, appeared at York Crown Court on Monday after admitting the latest charge of possessing heroin, albeit a small amount worth about £20.

Prosecutor Tom Stanway said Hardy, who is unemployed, had been buying heroin two or three times a week despite his straitened financial circumstances.

He had been borrowing money from relatives and friends to fund is habit.

He added that Hardy’s let-off in 2014 came despite his running away from police, during which he dropped some heroin and diazepam on the ground. Police also found some amphetamine and later searched his home, where they unearthed some cannabis and found two mobile phones which contained text messages indicating drug-dealing.

David Camdige, for Hardy, said his client had been making good progress on his existing drug-rehabilitation course from the original sentence, but conceded that he was in the “last-chance saloon”.

Mr Recorder Macdonald QC told Hardy: “You are really treading a very dangerous line.”

Hardy said he had had a heroin “lapse” over the Christmas period last year, adding: “I made a mistake and I want drugs out of my life.”

Mr Macdonald gave Hardy a new, three-month drug-rehabilitation programme with supervision, and ordered him to pay a statutory surcharge.