Drug dealer snared after police turned up at South Shields home to talk about motoring offence

A drug dealer was snared by police when they turned up at his home to talk to him about a motoring offence and discovered bags of cannabis.

Daren Walker was found with multiple packets of the drug along with cash and a burner phone at his address in South Shields. Newcastle Crown Court heard the total value of the drugs stored at the property was around £9,000, according to an expert.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said that when officers conducted a search of the address, they found a cannabis growing tent, as well as £1,091 of cash in a Celebrations tub. Just under a kilogram of cannabis skunk was found across 26 packages, while 77.91g of cannabis shatter, which is a type of extract, was located in 81 small bags.

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The court heard that there was also a burner phone found in the house which showed evidence that Walker had been dealing the cannabis, during the search in March 2020. Walker, of Forth Court, South Shields, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a class B drug with the intent to supply to others.

Daren Walker.

Vic Laffey, defending, said that since the offending, his client, 33, had become a father to a little girl who has serious health problems.

Mr Laffey added: "There doesn't appear to be any explanation why it's taken two-and-a-half years to be prosecuted for this. It would be catastrophic if he lost his liberty although he accepts he may well do."

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Mr Recorder Adams told him: "You've been before the court on 15 previous occasions to be sentenced for 17 offences but most of that was relatively lowlevel. It's quite clear you were growing cannabis at the property you were in. It's quite clear you were supplying others to a degree."

However, the judge drew back from sending him to immediate custody, and imposed a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Walker, who was also convicted of producing cannabis in 2019 in another offence, must complete 25 days of rehabilitation.