Diazepam dealer arrested after door staff at Hartlepool bar alerted police

A pill dealer’s activities were brought to an end after he was caught by door staff at a Hartlepool bar.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:13 pm

John Archer, 49, was suspected of selling drugs by door staff at Skyy bar in the town centre who called police.

He had 90 diazepam tablets on him and police later found about 2,000 more in his home together with a large amount of cash.

Archer was arrested after police were called to the bar at about 3.30am on May 31 in 2019.

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Skyy Bar in Avenue Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
Skyy Bar in Avenue Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “Upon arrival police spoke to the door staff who said the defendant appeared to be dealing drugs.

"As a result of that they conducted a search of him and found a quantity of diazepam in his possession which they confiscated.”

Ms Haigh said while intoxicated Archer bragged to a doorman about selling the tranquilizers and had 90 pills on him.

A search of his home uncovered more of the tablets and an unspecified large amount of cash in notes.

The case was dealt with at Teesside Crown Court.

Archer’s mobile phone was also examined.

Ms Haigh added: “There are messages that clearly support the evidence that this defendant was dealing in drugs, requests and offers to supply it.”

The total value of the pills was said to be £2,352 representing £1 per tablet.

The court heard Archer, Homer Grove, Hartlepool, had been in court five times in the past but had nothing on his record for drugs.

He admitted one count of possessing a class C drug with intent to supply.

His barrister Kate Barnes said in mitigation: “This is a man who he describes was heavily addicted to these drugs.

"The vast majority in his home will inevitably have been for his own use.

"They were not all destined for the relatively small circle of people he was selling to.”

Appealing to the judge to suspend any prison sentence, Ms Barnes added there was a realistic chance of rehabilitation.

Judge Timothy Stead said Archer had “ a very considerable quantity” of tablets but that the appropriate sentence was one of four months prison suspended for 12 months.

Terms included attending a Thinking Skills programme and completing up to 30 rehabilitation activity days.

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