South Cerney cannabis dealer Lee Walsh jailed
4:29pm Friday 15th March 2013 in Cotswolds news
A SOUTH Cerney cannabis dealer caught with more than £7,500 worth of the drug at his home has been jailed for two years.
Lee Walsh returned to the illegal trade even though he had served a 15 months sentence for an earlier drug dealing offence in 2010, Gloucester crown court was told.
Walsh, 28, of Broadway Lane, South Cerney, pleaded guilty to having 759grams of cannabis drug with intent to supply on 26th April 2012. He also admitted possession of 614 tablets of diazepam, a Class C drug.
Recorder Adrian Palmer QC told him "In my judgement the fact that you had previously been sentenced to 15 months for the self same offence of possession with intent to supply makes it impossible to say that the sentence today should be suspended.
"There has to be an immediate sentence when someone comes back within three years on a second occasion for this serious offence.
"I say that with regret, because I pay heed to the considerable efforts you have made ih the last twelve months to put offending behind you and lead an industrious life."
Prosecutor Janine Woods said police raided Walsh's home on 26th April last year and found over half a kilo of cannabis in his bedroom and another 137.6 grams in the fridge.
The estimated value of the drug was £7,570 and he also had 614 diazepam tablets - which he said were for his own use - and £3,000 in cash. He disputed that the money was from drug dealing and he claimed he had only been storing the cannabis for someone else.
Steve Young, defending, handed the court letters in support of Walsh from his employers and from Swindon College where he is taking a work-related course.
They bore testament to the way he had turned his life around in the last 12 months since his arrest, Mr Young said, He asked the court to consider a suspended sentence so Walsh can continue his work and provide for his partner and the baby they are expecting in July.
"Things have changed dramatically since last April - he is not using drugs, he has a job and his prospects are good," said Mr Young.
But Recorder Palmer said the previous conviction for drug dealing was too significant a matter to overlook and Walsh had to be imprisoned again.
"You have a future and an ability to do very well if you turn your mind to it and don't simply revert to dealing in drugs," added the Recorder.