Cocaine dealer locked up after being caught red-handed by cops while over the drug-driving limit

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

A cocaine dealer who was caught red-handed by police while drugged at the wheel of his car has been locked up for two years.

Police in a marked car suspected that Brandon French was involved in drugs when they spotted him driving a Ford Fiesta in Hartlepool town centre at 2.15am on July 25 last year.

The officers detained him and a passenger in Raby Road and a search uncovered cocaine worth £234, Temazepam tablets and £1,150 in cash.

He was also in possession of a knife and knuckle duster.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that French, 20, failed a blood drugs test.

A passenger in the car was holding a baseball bat between his knees, said Andrew Teate defending.

Mr Teate said that French was realistic about his fate and he expected an immediate custodial sentence.

He did not want to delay for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

The court heard French had not been involved in any offences in the last 16 months and he was keen to get his life back together.

The judge said that French's sentence could be reduced because he was lightly convicted .and he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

French pleaded guilty to possession of Class A cocaine with intent to supply, possession of Temazepam and another Class C drug Alprazolam , possession of criminal property, possession of a knife and having an offensive weapon, a knuckle duster

Judge Peter Armstrong told him: "You admitted these offences from the outset so you will get full credit for your guilty pleas."

French, of Cumbrian Way, Peterlee, was sentenced to two years youth custody and he agreed to a confiscation order for the £1,150 cash.