Drugs duo avoid jail sentence

TWO men caught with nearly £6,500 of drugs between them have avoided jail.

Police discovered £4,445 of amphetamine in Peter Stead’s car when they pulled him over at the B & Q car park, in Brenda Road, Hartlepool.

Inquiries led officers to find another £2,030 of the drug at Lee Fucile’s home.

Stead, 28, of Forfar Road, in Owton Manor, Hartlepool, and Fucile, 38, of the town’s Garston Grove, admitted possessing class B drugs with intent to supply on June 12 last year.

Stead also admitted possessing class A drugs after he produced a silver wrap containing heroin from his sock upon his arrest.

Tamara Pawson, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said police followed a Volkswagen Passat into the car park at around 3.15pm after noticing a faulty break light.

She added: “A search was carried out. A jacket side in the passenger side footwell was lifted to reveal a large clear bag containing white powder.

“It was later examined and found to be 889 grams of amphetamine. It had a purity of three per cent and a value of £4,445 based on its dry weight.

“On this being discovered Stead said ‘I’m sorry, I’m just a runner’.”

The court heard Stead said he had got the drugs from Fucile and that officers later found amphetamine in the second man’s kitchen.

Ms Pawson said: “Two packages of amphetamine along with digital scales were found.”

Tests later showed the 406 grams of drugs were worth £2,030.

She said Fucile told officers that a friend had asked him to watch the drugs and scales for him while he went into town.

Stead has previous convictions for possession of both heroin and cannabis.

Fucile has convictions for possession with intent to supply class C drugs and possession of class C drugs.

Richard Goodwin, mitigating for Stead, said: “Mr Stead is entirely prepared to undertake any such order imposed by the court and does want to address his drug issues.”

Ian Mullarkey, for Fucile, added: “My client pleads guilty at the first opportunity. He has a full-time job and in fixing a curfew please bear that in mind.”

Judge Howard Crowson said he was “not entirely satisfied the truth had been repeated”, but was bound by the evidence before him.

Stead was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for 12 months with a supervision requirement.

Fucile was given a 12-month community order with 150 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £600 costs.