Judge jails South Shields man caught in undercover drugs sting for TWO HOURS

Lee Halcrow
Lee Halcrow

A "facilitator" who helped an undercover cop buy drugs from a street dealer has been jailed for an afternoon.

Lee Halcrow was befriended by the plain clothes policewoman, who posed as a drug user to snare suppliers in Sunderland during an undercover sting in December 2015.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 42-year-old, Beach Road, South Shields, told the officer where she could buy crack cocaine.

Halcrow pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.

His barrister Andrew Rutter told the court: "He was befriended by the undercover officer who he believed to be a user, so good was her cover.

"She asked him where she could get gear and he told her and that was it."

Judge Stephen Earl said Halcrow's was an unusual case because, despite having a long criminal background, he has now embraced help and support from agencies to make progress with his life.

The judge said the drugs offence was now 18 months old and added: "I won't say he's a saint, clearly he is not."

But the judge said: "Rather than anything else, he is a facilitator, he introduced Joe and on no more than one occasion."

Judge Earl sentenced Halcrow to a £200 fine or face one day in prison.

When Halcrow indicated he was unable to pay the fine today, Judge Earl activated the one day sentence and said he must serve half.

The judge told him at just before 1pm: "I order you to serve one day in custody.

"You will go downstairs where you will be held until 3pm, when you will be eligible for release, having served the sentence in lieu of the £200 fine."

Halcrow thanked the judge as he was led away to start his just over two hour sentence in the court cells.