A drug addict who started supplying cocaine to pay off a debt has been jailed for three years.
Joseph Gaskin’s home on Spencer Street in Accrington was raided by police who wanted to question him over an ‘unrelated matter’.
Officers found seven £20 wraps of cocaine, £1,221 in cash, digital scales and a mobile phone containing drug-related text messages, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Gaskin, 25, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and has been jailed for three years.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court how Gaskin had been wanted for questioning by police over an ‘unrelated matter which hasn’t been proceeded with’ and they attended his home shortly after midnight on January 10 this year.
The court heard how Gaskin admitted to buying the cocaine a few days earlier and said he was going to use it himself at a party.
Mr Parker said an analysis of his mobile phone showed around a dozen drug messages over a 48-hour period a few days before his arrest.
One message said: “Have you got a jib (cocaine) until Thursday?”
Another person asked: “Are you still doing weights? A mate of mine is back and after an eighth.”
In another message a person asked ‘Are you on pal?’ before Gaskin replied ‘Yes but I’ve got no car at the moment to deliver. Will have to meet’.
Mr Parker said ‘tick lists’ were also stored in the calendar notes section of the phone.
Judge Beverley Lunt said the offence was so serious that ‘only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate’.
Sentencing, she said: “You are 25 years old and have only ever been in trouble once several years ago for being in possession of cocaine.
“Otherwise you’ve not been know to the courts and now here you are for a serious level of drug dealing.
“The telephone traffic shows that you had customers, they knew they could contact you, could place and order and fulfil that order and indeed deliver the order to them.
“You yourself, having been an addict of cocaine, know how evil it is that people should deal in such drugs and provide drugs to addicts.
“That’s why the sentences are so harsh when people are caught as you were.
“The only mitigation is your guilty plea at the first opportunity and you lack of previous convictions.”
Addict remorseful for shame on family
Defence barrister Neil Howard said Gaskin has ‘brought a great deal of shame on his family’.
The court heard how the volunteer agency worker had ‘battled with cocaine addiction’ for around eight years and was previously helped out by his family when he got into an earlier drug debt.
Mr Howard said he relapsed last year and his ‘habit quickly exploded’ and got into more debt.
He told the court: “He expresses genuine remorse for his actions.
“There’s a great deal of shame he carries having brought a great deal of shame on his family.
“His family have battled with Mr Gaskin all the way through this addiction and fought very hard to avoid a day like today.
“He knows he has let them down and has lost their trust and will now have many years of hard work to rebuild that.
“He wishes to put this matter behind him and move on with his life and start to repay the respect and support his family have given to him.”
Mr Howard said Gaskin deserved credit for his early guilty plea and has been working hard since his arrest.
The court heard how he has stopped taking drugs and ‘cut off all contact’ with his previous drug associates.