‘Busy’ drug dealer avoids prison after police raid his South Shields home

A “busy drug dealer” agreed a customer could provide his hot tub as payment for outstanding debts.

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Police raided Aidan Pittuck’s home in South Shields in October 2019 and seized his phone and wallet which contained over £3,000 in cash.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when questioned about texts found on his device, Pittuck claimed he would arrange cannabis deals for friends and keep small amounts for himself.

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He said the money in his wallet was savings he had built up from benefits cash.

But prosecutor Liam O’Brien told the court: “This was demonstrably untrue. Enquiries were conducted with HMRC and they confirmed he had claimed no benefits since 2013.

“An analysis of his phone showed clear evidence he had been dealing to users on a daily basis. There was a debt list on his phone which contained 37 customers and an outstanding amount of £6,140.

Newcastle Crown CourtNewcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

“One of the customers owed the defendant so much money he had agreed to settle his debt by giving his hot tub to the defendant.”

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Mr O’Brien said the evidence showed Pittuck was a “busy drug dealer”.

Pittuck, 30, of Norham Avenue South, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis between August and October 2019.

Mr Recorder Shufqat Khan told said Pittuck was “dealing on a daily basis” at the time and told him: “One person owed so much money he agreed to give you a hot tub to settle the debt.”

But Recorder Khan added that Pittuck had been in no trouble before or since the offending, which was over four years ago and told him: “I am just persuaded to take a chance on you.”

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Pittuck was sentenced to eight months suspended for 18 months with 200 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation requirements.

The court heard Pittuck has family responsibilities.

Shada Mellor, defending, said: “He was 25 at the time, he’s now a man of 30 years old.

“He is remorseful, he understands his actions and tells me he understands that there are victims as a result of his actions.

“There has been no further offences or any further trouble since.”