A man jailed for the supply of ecstasy and cannabis in 2018 returned to his former ways upon his release, a court heard.

Police executed a search warrant at Lee Colin Scott’s home in Fencehouses, shortly before 3pm on May 16, 2021, and arrested him in an upstairs bedroom, seizing his mobile phone.

Durham Crown Court heard that on searching the address, in Gill Crescent South, they seized drugs, including class B substances amphetamines and cannabis, valued at between £2,837 and £3,022, plus cash totalling £2,517.

David Robinson-Young, prosecuting, said examination of the phone revealed text messaging indicative of the supply of drugs.

Read more: Two Fencehouses men jailed for the supply of ecstasy and cannabis

Officers searching the premises also recovered paraphernalia suggestive of dealing and use of drugs, including a set of scales and a bong.

Scott made no comment when questioned about the items recovered from his home.

Mr Robinson-Young said the defendant's previous criminal record includes four drugs offences, for which he was sentenced to a total prison term of 32 months, after admitting being concerned in the supply of class A and B drugs in October 2018.

Relating to the more recent offending, Mr Robinson-Young said the defendant appeared to have played, “a significant role”, with the expectation of financial advantage and full understanding of what he was doing.

Mr Robinson-Young applied for forfeiture of the cash and destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia recovered in the police raid.

But he said his instructions were not to seek a proceeds of crime investigation, due to the cash recovery.

Read more: Pair admit involvement in class B drug 'street dealing' in County Durham

The 32-year-old defendant, now of Fenton Terrace, New Herrington, near Sunderland, admitting four counts of possessing class B drugs with intent to supply when he appeared before magistrates, last month.

Stephen Hamill, representing Scott, said his client should receive maximum discount on sentence to reflect his early guilty.

Mr Hamill highlighted the delay in dealing with the case, which was not of the defendant’s making, given the police search warrant was executed more than 20 months ago at his client’s former address.

“It’s been a very long wait, indeed, during which he’s matured and succeeded in stopping committing offences.

“He’s not been arrested for anything else in the meantime, and has been employed as a ground worker since,” said Mr Hamill, who presented the court with a character reference from an employer.

“He instructs me he has now secured his own accommodation and taken steps to address his offending behaviour.

“He has not come here with any great expectation and understands the sentencing power the court has.”

Judge Julie Clemitson said it appeared the defendant had been dealing directly to users, in a “significant role”.

She told Scott: “It’s clear the significant sentence you previously received did not deter you from offending, so the sentence and period on licence did not rehabilitate you.

Read next:

               Stanley man ran lucrative trade selling class C drugs, plus cannabis

               Six people jailed in cases at Durham Crown Court this week

               Drug dealers, arsonists & burglar jailed in the North East so far in October

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here

“You’re 32, and not young and daft anymore, and you have been through the system for slightly more serious offending, so you knew what you were doing.”

But she ccepted that, with the passage of time since the latest offending, in which he has made efforts to, “sort himself out”, she could reduce the inevitable prison sentence.

Imposing a ten-month prison sentence, she ordered confiscation of the seized money and forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia recovered by the police.