Barnstaple man cleared of drug dealing charges

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A Barnstaple man has been cleared of drug dealing after prosecutors accepted that heroin and crack which were seized in a police raid were for his own use. 

Charges against a second man, who was arrested as he tried to escape over a wall, have also been reduced to simple possession. 

Danny Hoskins, aged 29, of West View, Barnstaple, denied possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply, but admitted personal possession of both drugs and was conditionally discharged by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court. 

Lawrence Egwuekwe, aged 25, of Crossley Street, Islington, London, admitted possession of heroin and was fined £250. 

The judge said both men are now living stable, law-abiding lives and that Hoskins is tackling a long-standing drug addiction. 

Ian Graham, prosecuting, said police raided a house where Hoskins was living in West View, Barnstaple, on March 15, 2018, and seized 1.19 grams of heroin and 1.18 grams of crack. 

Egwuekwe was arrested as he tried to climb a wall at the back of the house to get away and a package containing 4.09 grams of heroin was picked up by police nearby. 

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Richard Crabb, for Hoskins, said he has served two jail sentences for other offences since this arrest and is now addressing his heroin addiction with the drug service Together. 

He has no convictions for drug dealing in the past and says the drugs seized in the raid were for his own use. 

Jonathan Akasanya, for Egwuekwe, said he has suffered a serious injury in the time since 2018 but has made a good recovery and is currently working but furloughed and living back at his family home. 

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