Jail for drug dealer who ran from police

A DRUG dealer who was caught with more than £5,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis after being chased by officers in the centre of town has been jailed for four years and nine months.

Stephen Andrew Bates. Picture: States of Jersey Police (29172052)
Stephen Andrew Bates. Picture: States of Jersey Police (29172052)

Stephen Andrew Bates fled after officers saw him and two other men acting suspiciously – but was detained as he tried to climb a wall near Burger King. The 39-year-old, who started using drugs when he was 11, was found in possession of cannabis, cocaine, weighing scales and £325 in cash.

Outlining the case before the Superior Number of the Royal Court, which convenes for Jersey’s most serious offences, Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said Bates was detained after a chase on the night of 16 February.

A short time later police officers searched his flat and found a bar of brown resin and a tin containing wraps of white powder.

A total of 15.06g of cocaine and 178.92gr of cannabis was found with an estimated street value of between £4,015 and £5,240.

Bates, who has nine previous convictions, committed the latest offences while serving a suspended sentence imposed in the UK for drug-related motoring offences. However, as there is no agreement in place between Jersey and the UK, no breach had occurred.

Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk, defending, said: ‘You will have seen from the social inquiry report that Bates had an extremely traumatic childhood and he learnt the lesson that he could not trust adults and, as a consequence, turned to drugs at the tender age of 11.

‘It started by him using class B drugs but then progressed into much heavier drugs and he began to use cocaine,’ she said.

‘His brother contributed to the failure of his business by taking money from it and at that point my client’s life fell apart. When he came to Jersey [in 2013], he came with the intent to wean himself off cocaine and it was going extraordinarily well until January this year.’

Bates pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing drugs with intent to supply on the basis that he dealt only to friends.

Advocate Morley-Kirk added that her client was engaging with support services available in prison to help him be successful in his rehabilitation.

Delivering the court’s sentence, Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae said: ‘You plainly ran from police officers because you knew you were in possession of drugs, weighing scales and cash, and you were equipped to deal on the streets.

‘Cocaine is a class A drug and a dangerous drug.’

Mr MacRae added that anyone selling drugs in Jersey ‘knows that they will get caught’. Mr MacRae then urged the defendant to take advantage of help available in prison to help him tackle his drug habit.

Jurats Collette Crill, Charles Blampied and Elizabeth Dulake were also sitting.

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