A DRUG dealer is today starting a five-year jail term after being found guilty of preparing heroin deals from his home.
Peter Sharp was arrested after police discovered heroin with a street value of over £1,000 kept in a coffee jar following a raid on his Keswick Street home.
The 30-year-old was found guilty of possessing the class A drug with intent to supply others after a two day trial at Teesside Crown Court and was jailed straightaway.
Describing the bust on the afternoon of December 2, in 2013, prosecutor David Crook said: “The premises were locked and police forced entry.
“Inside they found heroin in a coffee jar in the kitchen.
“The defendant’s finger prints were on the coffee jar and also on a mug next to an area in the living room which had ben put aside for the cutting and re-bagging of the drugs.”
The heroin weighed 23.2 grams and the jury heard it had a street value of £1,160.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Ian Nixon, from the Community Drug Enforcement Team, welcomed Sharp’s sentence.
He said: “This result should send a message out to all those concerned in the supply of heroin in Hartlepool.
“This is a significant sentence which has been a direct result of the police responding to intelligence received from the community.
“We encourage the public to inform the police about any suspected drug dealing activity in their area and urge them to call 101 or the Community Drugs Enforcement Team direct.”
Another man was also arrested and faced the same charge.
But prosecutors dropped it during the trial on Thursday after submissions from his barrister.
Sharp stayed silent when he was questioned about the drugs by police following his arrest.
In court he denied the charge and tried to claim the address was a party house and that he did not live there most of the time.
He denied any knowledge of the drugs.
His guilty verdict marked Sharp’s most serious drugs conviction to date after previously only being in trouble for possessing cannabis.
The judge Recorder Mark McKone said although the offence was 15 months ago Parliament says those found guilty of dealing in heroin must go to jail.
He added Sharp was not entitled to any reduction in the five year sentence as he had denied it.
The Community Drugs Enforcement Team can be contacted on 0800 0929702.