Heroin dealer caught in raid

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A DRUG dealer has been jailed after being snared in a police raid.

Cops swooped on Michael Cronin’s home in West View, Hartlepool, and uncovered heroin, scales, mobile phones and a stash of cash.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 42-year-old had created a “well established operation” in the area.

Cronin was jailed for 32 months after he admitted possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and possession of cannabis.

His partner, Andrea Walker, 44, was found guilty of possession of heroin with intent to supply after a trial.

But she was spared immediate jail after the judge said she had played a much lesser role in operation.

Prosecutor Victoria Lamballe said police searched the couple’s home in Bruce Crescent on February 13 last year.

Walker was at home and was found in possession of a bag containing 12 street deals of heroin worth £120.

Another plastic bag with five deals of the drug were found in a bedroom along with £805 cash from a safe, and a small amount of herbal cannabis.

Walker also had two packages of amphetamine, a class B drug, for her own self medication of depression.

Two mobile phones were seized by police and sent off for analysis.

They revealed a number of text messages for Cronin relating to the supply of drugs.

“A set of scales were also recovered and found to contain traces of heroin and cannabis,” said Ms Lamballe.

She added: “The Crown say there was clearly some financial advantage. This bears all the hallmarks of street level dealing.”

Martin Scarborough, mitigating for Walker, said she was effectively a woman of good character and had suffered with mental health issues for years.

She was given 21 months prison suspended for two years with probation supervision.

Paul Cleasby, mitigating for Cronin, said he had mainly been dealing to fund his own long-standing addiction to heroin.

Mr Cleasby said Cronin had not committed any more offences in the 19 months since his arrest and added: “He has shown a real effort to rid himself of the chronic addiction he has suffered from for many years.”

Recorder James Brown told Cronin: “Whichever way you look at it you were involved in the supply of a class A drug.”