Bailed drugs dealer carried on selling heroin on streets of South Shields

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A drug dealer who sold heroin to users on the streets of South Shields has been jailed for three years.

Ryan Skelly was caught carrying 16 wraps of the deadly drug when he was stopped by police on April 28.

The 31-year-old was released on bail, but continued supplying on the streets of South Shields "as if nothing had happened".

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told Newcastle Crown Court: "Throughout June the defendant was seen dealing drugs in South Shields."

The court heard on a number of days throughout that month, Skelly was watched by officers as he made his illegal exchanges.

On June 10 he was seen handing something to two males then "walking away counting money."

Officers witnessed similar exchanges taking place throughout the month.

Miss Smurthwaite said: "On June 30 police watched a transaction in which the defendant passed a small item to a man who, when stopped, was found to have a small wrap of heroin."

The court heard when Skelly was approached he was carrying heroin with a street value of up to £400.

Miss Smurthwaite added: "The wrap from the man police had stopped exactly matched the wraps recovered from the defendant."

When police searched Skelly's home they found cash, scales, foil and small plastic packets.

In police interview, Skelly admitted dealing to finance his own drug habit.

Miss Smurthwaite told the court: "He accepted he had been supplying drugs on each of the occasions witnessed by the police."

The court heard Skelly had the use of three mobile phones, which contained text messages linking him to dealing.

Skelly, of no fixed address, admitted supplying heroin and possession of amphetamine with intent.

Mr Recorder Keith Miller said it was "particularly sad" Skelly got involved with heroin when, despite having a poor criminal record, he has no previous convictions involving drugs.

The judge said it was even more unfortunate Skelly did not use the opportunity of being given bail to try totackle his drug taking and related offending.

The judge told him: "You continued to supply it as if nothing had happened at all."

Graeme Cook, defending, said Skelly had suffered a personal tragedy before turning to heroin, but has not taken steps to kick his habit for good.

Mr Cook said; "He is a young man who has lost his way. When he gets out he wants to try and lead a drug-free life."

Skelly's case will be back in court for an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act on November 23.