Drug dealer jailed after customers contacted him on phone seized by police

A dealer is behind bars after drug customers continued to contact him on a phone seized by the police while he tried to convince the officers he was not a supplier.

While Kye McCaffery was being quizzed about a haul of cocaine found at a house, which he claimed was for his own use, his confiscated phone kept pinging with texts and calls from people hoping to buy from him.

Prosecutor Joe Hedworth told the Newcastle Crown Court: "There were repeated text messages buzzing on his phone and also a flurry of missed calls."

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The court heard McCaffery had been arrested and his phone was seized after cocaine worth up to £500 and £980 in cash were found during a raid at a house in Hebburn, in May 2020.

Kye McCaffery.

Mr Hedworth told the court: "The defendant said the drugs were for his own personal use."

McCaffery, 22, of Kelly Road, Hebburn, denied possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property but was convicted by a jury after a trial.

He was on a suspended prison sentence for offences including drug possession at the time.

Judge Robert Spragg has now jailed him for four years.

Judge Spragg said: "The messages were actually arriving through the course of your interview. The messages were enough to portray what was happening."

The judge added: "If you deal in class A drugs you contribute not only to the addiction and misery they bring to people but robberies, burglaries and thefts are all crimes committed by users to fund their addictions."

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Judge Spragg said he accepted McCaffery had a troubled past, was "immature" at the time of the offences, has support and is a low risk of re-offending.

Steven Reed, defending, said McCaffery has an offer of employment and was at the "bottom end" of drug dealers, supplying to people he knew rather than a wider network.