Bowthorpe drug dealers jailed despite apology to the judge

Two drug dealers who were operating in Bowthorpe have been sentenced to more than five years in prison – despite a personal apology to the judge from one of them who vowed this would be the last time he appeared in front of the courts.

Nicholas Massey, 33, and Simon Campbell, 30, who both previously admitted a charge of being concerned in supply of a controlled class A drug, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced in relation to the offences which took place in the Mawkin Close area of Bowthorpe in June this year.

Massey, of Tuns Road, Necton, near Swaffham, who also pleaded guilty to two offences of theft in April this year, took the opportunity to address the judge before he was sentenced.

Massey, who the court heard is a new father, said: 'I would just like to apologise for the problems I've caused and the pain I've caused my family.'

The defendant, who had several previous convictions for drugs-related offences, said the birth of his son has had an effect on him to the extent that he never wanted to 'let anyone down again'. He added: 'If you give me this opportunity I will never let you down and this will be the last time I will be in front of your court.'

But while the plea was listened to by Judge Philip Curl, who said he 'had made a real effort', Massey was ultimately sentenced to a total of three years and nine months in prison for all the offences. Campbell, of Mayfield Road, Dagenham, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment.

Judge Curl said: 'I accept you are making a real effort and maybe the recent birth of your child has had an important impact and I hope you will continue the good work. Having said that, you have a very poor record in respect of class A drugs.' He added: 'I'm afraid I can't take a course which keeps you out of prison.'

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Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said both men were charged following an operation conducted by officers from Norfolk police into the activities of Massey and another, then unknown male who has since been identified and arrested.

The operation, which centred on two addresses in Mawkin Close, near Three Score Road, Bowthorpe, was conducted over a number of days with officers observing Massey and the other male appearing to be dealing drugs on June 8, 9, 10 and 13.

Mrs Tucker said on June 13 that officers executed search warrants at both properties where Massey and Campbell stayed.

As far as Massey was concerned, he was found in possession of �40 while there were seven wraps of drugs found at the address – one containing crack cocaine and five containing heroin.

Police discovered traces of cocaine and diamorphine on wraps at Campbell's address. The defendant, who had �259.55 at the property and �60 on his person, was also found in the toilet with wet hands and the toilet having been flushed. Mrs Tucker said Massey had 'effectively been the street dealer going out to meet customers and sell drugs' while Campbell was the 'custodian of the dealer telephone' who took calls and directed callers to Massey.

Guy Ayers, mitigating for Massey, said the defendant has had problems with drug addiction, class A drug addiction, 'for some considerable time' but had made every effort to turn his life around.

But Mr Ayers said Massey has since met a 'very sensible and down-to-earth partner, who made it clear to him it was either her or the drug scene – it would never be both.'

He said Massey chose her, but because he was in debt to a dealer and had no income, he was told his debt would be repaid if he 'acted as a runner' for a week.

Mark Stevens, for Campbell, said the father-of-five, who played a 'limited part' had got involved because his then girlfriend was a drug addict.

He said it was an impulsive action and he now realises how foolish he has been and is able to 'recognise the impact drugs have on the community as a whole'.

Judge Curl ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs in Massey's case and the forfeiture to Norfolk police of the �40 found in his possession.

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