Cirencester drug runner spared jail

A judge has freed a Cirencester drug runner after telling him “We are all entitled to one serious mistake in life.”

Judge Ian Lawrie QC, sitting at Gloucester Crown Court, spared told Jon Morgan, 21, of Smiths Field, from jail after hearing he has a job offer in London.

Morgan was arrested after police were alerted to people causing a nuisance near the City Bank Nature Reserve on May 12.

“The defendant was one of five men who were stopped and searched and he was found in possession of both Class A and B drugs,” said prosecutor Simon Goodman.

“Before the search Morgan handed over a small bag of cannabis containing £10 worth of the drug. He was also found in possession of two mobile phones and a small bag of cocaine wraps, valued at £175.

“In his interview he admitted he was a cocaine user and said the drugs found on him were for personal use. He explained he was trying to wean himself off the Class A drugs.

“Both phones were analysed and one of them had evidence of drug dealing to 19 other phone numbers. The other had a social media message suggesting drugs were available.”

Alistair Haggerty, defending said: “There is no evidence of Morgan making any significant financial gain. The arresting officer, PC Richard Webb believed that he was a runner only and was being rather naive in operating under his own name.

“He is a completely different person now to how he was 18 months ago. The delay in this case coming to court has enabled him to prove himself. He has been offered a job in a career he is interested in.

“This is a real opportunity to make something of himself, and put his past behind him. Over the time he has drastically reduced his reliance on drugs with medical intervention.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said to Morgan: “I do take the view that you had a lesser role in that you were a runner who also sent messages, which you are reluctant to concede.

“Supplying class A drugs is a serious offence which deserves custody, but due to the work of your advocate I am prepared to suspend your prison term because there is a prospect of rehabilitation because you have gained employment and have shown considerable regret about your actions.”

The judge sentenced Morgan to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to attend 24 rehabilitation activity requirement days, pay court costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £156. He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs seized.

The judge concluded: “We are all entitled to make one serious mistake in life. Consider this as your serious mistake and be aware there will be no second chance.”

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