Drug dealer avoids heavy jail sentence
10:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in Latest News
A 52-YEAR-OLD caught peddling hard drugs for the third time has been told he may not face a jail term.
Had Stewart Summerfield's first conviction for dealing been a few years later then he would be facing a mandatory seven-year sentence.
But a judge at Swindon Crown Court put off passing sentence so a probation report can be carried out to see if he is suitable for drug treatment.
Recorder Peter Blair QC said he wanted to see ‘whether there is a way to get you back to the better ground you seem to have been on since 2006’.
And he added ‘if you co-operate there is a fairly good chance you will get a rehabilitation order.’ Police raided Summerfield's Park South home in April under a drugs warrant and found he had 27 deals of heroin and crack cocaine.
And in a bedroom at the property they also found a cannabis cultivation set up with nine plants growing in it.
When Summerfield was questioned he said he had a drugs habit which was costing him up to £30 a day and he could not fund it on his benefits.
He said he had agreed with his dealer that he would look after some of his stock for him for a few days.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said the Crown had to accept that version as there was no evidence, such as mobile phones containing messages, to suggest he was a street dealer.
She said he was jailed for five years in Essex in 1995 for a number of offences including six counts of possessing drugs with intent to supply.
In March 2000, at Swindon Crown Court, he received an 18-month jail term for supplying heroin.
Miss Hingston said that three convictions for supply of class A drugs since 1997 would incur the mandatory seven year sentence.
However the first one, which took place two years earlier, did not count as it was before the change in the law.
She added that the defendant had numerous other convictions including many for simple possession of drugs and dishonesty.
Summerfield, of Kemmerton Walk, Park South, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and cultivating cannabis.
Rob Ross, defending, said a pre-sentence report on his client was due to have been done but he was ill on the day of the appointment.
He said he had contacted them on the morning he was due to attend as he was suffering from diarrhoea.
Mr Ross said he knew he was facing a custodial sentence but there was a question as to whether a judge could suspend it.
He said he was a middle aged man who had slipped back into drug use having been out of trouble for a number of years.
Adjourning the case the judge said: “Before you are sentenced for this it is necessary for us to understand where you are at so far as your drug use, and whether there is a way to get you back to the better ground you seem to have been on since 2006.
“For that matter I am going to adjourn the matters for a pre-sentence report. This will be your last opportunity to ensure your co-operation. with the probation service.
“If you do not co-operate the inevitable will be that you will get a fairly meaty custodial sentence. If you co-operate there is a fairly good chance you will get a rehabilitation order.”
He released him on conditional bail to Friday October 18, when he will face sentence.