A JOINER who agreed to store drugs in the back of his van has been jailed for a year.
East Durham man Dean Redfern hoped looking after the amphetamine would wipe out a debt to a loan shark, Durham Crown Court heard.
A police search uncovered the drugs in the back of a van with a street value of £62,400.
“Police searched a Transit van which had been left in a street in Trimdon Station,” said Chris Baker prosecuting.
“In the back of a van was a Reebok rucksack which was found to contain 4.3kg of amphetamine at 31 per cent purity.
“The drugs had an estimated street value of £62,400.
“Also in the van were dealer bags, miniature scales, and 600g of Creatine powder, which is commonly used to adulterate amphetamine.
“The defendant’s DNA was found on the rucksack.”
Redfern, 26, of Kings Road, Wingate, admitted possessing a class B drug with intent to supply it on April 23.
Chris Morrison, mitigating, said: “The van, which is likely to be confiscated by the court, is the very vehicle which led Mr Redfern into this.
“It needed a new engine so he foolishly borrowed money from someone best avoided.
“Work dried up, and he fell behind with the payments.
“Mr Redfern was acting entirely upon direction in the hope his debt would be expunged.
“He did not examine the contents of the rucksack, but it is plain common sense he had an idea of what was in there.”
Judge Robert Adams jailed Redfern for 12 months.
The judge told him: “You may not have known exactly what drugs were in the package, but its weight would have told you it was a significant amount.
“There was to be financial gain for you, although your role in the distribution of the drugs was limited.
“You have spent more than five months in custody on remand, which is your first time inside.
“I anticipate the sentence I have passed will mean you will be released in the near future.”
The judge ordered the confiscation and destruction of the drugs, and the confiscation of the van.