Small-time drug dealer 'caught red-handed'

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Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A small-time drug dealer was caught red-handed after police saw him supplying a cocaine addict in the centre of Barnstaple, a court has been told.

Troy Courtney arranged to meet the female customer in Boutport Street and they went into George Street briefly to conduct the deal before both were arrested.

He was carrying the £100 he had just been paid and she was found with a package of cocaine which she had just bought.

Police found £1,330 cash and another £150 worth of cocaine at his home nearby, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Courtney, aged 24, of Town Walk, Barnstaple, admitted supplying cocaine and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years and ordered to do 160 hours unpaid community work by Judge David Evans.

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He told him he had been incredibly stupid but that it was right to suspend the sentence because he has found a job and turned his life around since his arrest and has parental duties for his young son.

Mr Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said police stopped Courtney on October 20, 2019, after watching a known addict move from a churchyard to the corner of Boutport and Coronation Street to meet him.

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The actual exchange was not seen but officers arrested both parties within seconds and found the evidence of the transaction.

Cash and more drugs were found on his coffee table when his home was searched and one of two sets of digital scales had traces of white powder on it.

Courtney admitted he was running his own small operation to pay for his own cocaine habit.

Mr Nick Lewin, defending, said Courtney has no previous convictions and has used the 18 months since his arrest to get off drugs, find a job, settle down and start a family.

He said he had been incredibly frank with the writer of the probation report, who concluded he was at low risk of offending and a good prospect for rehabilitation.

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