South Shields drug dealer snared after restaurant worker unwittingly gave number to undercover police officer

A restaurant worker who supplied a dealer's phone number so an undercover police officer could buy drugs has kept his freedom.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 5:43 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 6:29 pm

Naim Rahman put covert officer 'Tracey' in touch with Andrew Hughes, who went on to supply her with cannabis and later cocaine, at her request.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Tracey had been deployed as part of a police operation to target dealers in South Tyneside in late 2017 and early 2018.

It was on December 13 2017 Tracy attended a restaurant in South Shields and spoke to Rahman, who she had met before and who gave her a telephone number for Hughes.

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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes

Prosecutor Glenn Gatland told the court: "Tracey phoned Mr Hughes, asking if he could sort out some drugs.

"Hughes answered and arranged to supply cannabis."

The court heard when Tracey met Hughes she bought a £20 cannabis deal from him and she asked if he had any cocaine.On January 31 2018 Tracey met Hughes again, bought another £20 cannabis deal and spoke again about cocaine.

On February 14 2018 Tracey contacted Hughes and met him again and bought another £20 cannabis deal.

Newcastle Crown Court

Then, the following day they met again and she bought a bag of cocaine from him.

Tracey bought more cocaine from Hughes on February 22 2018.

Hughes, 27, of Mowbray Road, South Shields, admitted supplying cocaine and cannabis and has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work.

Rahman, 33, of Osborne Avenue, South Shields, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

He was sentenced to a community order for 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work.

Judge Edward Bindloss said: "Hughes supplied cannabis and cocaine to an undercover police officer with the pseudonym Tracey.

"Rahman provided the undercover officer with Hughes' telephone number."

Judge Bindloss added: "These are old offences. Both of you were of good character before you got involved with this undercover police officer."

The court heard Hughes has a "changed lifestyle" since the offences, is in employment and has been in no trouble before or since.

Rahman has a wife and daughter, is furloughed from his work and has "indicated remorse".

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