Judge spares South Shields druggie from jail as 'exceptional course'

John Lincoln.
John Lincoln.

A grandad who sold cocaine and amphetamine to customers from his family home has been spared jail.

Police found John Lincoln's illegal stock when they raided the house at Olive Street, South Shields, on April 7 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard some of the cocaine haul was found hidden in Kinder eggs and the the other drugs were in bags and wraps.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court: "It is clearly street dealing which is involved here."

Miss Masters said the seized cocaine was worth £2,800 and the amphetamine was valued at between £360 and £420.

The court heard Lincoln, a 49-year-old former removal man, has been in trouble in the distant past but has no similar offences on his record.

Christopher Knox, defending, said the dad and grandad has serious health problems including angina and lung illness COPD.

Mr Knox said: "Put him into a custodial setting and it is not going to be an easy situation for anyone, not for him nor the prison service.

"The consequences could very easily be pretty nasty for him and he is very well aware of that."

Mr Knox said Lincoln got involved in drug dealing through his own use, which built up a debt, .

He added: "He wasn't knocking these drugs out to people he didn't know.

"He had a circle and would supply his own habit.

"He was not on street corners and there is no suggestion of messages of encouragement or anything of that sort."

The court heard Lincoln, who pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and amphetamine with intent to supply, had sent a letter to the judge vowing he was capable of "living and honesty, law abiding life".

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced Lincoln to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years. with a six month curfew from 7pm to 7am.

The judge said she had taken an "exceptional course" in his case and warned him: "There will be no second chances."

Judge Moreland told him: "You made no profit except that necessary to clear your debt and buy the drugs you were using."