Dad-of-five dealt drugs in Sutton after racking up £5K Christmas debt

A dad-of-five who was pressured into dealing drugs in Sutton after racking up debts to buy Christmas treats for his children has been locked up, a court heard.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 3:55 pm

Police executed a search warrant at an address on Dalestorth Road, on March 23, 2021, and found Reece Palmer in an upstairs bedroom with two children.

Tom Heath, prosecuting at Nottingham Crown Court, said Palmer tried to conceal a small bag on the window sill, but officers found it contained £180 worth of cocaine.

Mobile phones and a small dealer list were also retrieved, but cash found legitimately belonged to 27-year-old Palmer.

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Reece Palmer.

He told police he owed £5,000, and Mr Heath said: “The Crown is prepared to accept he was somewhat pressured to deal.”

The court heard he has 12 previous convictions for 35 offences, including supplying class B drugs in 2018.

Palmer, of Winterton Rise, Bestwood Park, admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine and possession of cannabis.

“I can’t say Palmer is an innocent abroad,” said Richard Thatcher, mitigating, but added the scale of the dealing was reflected by the fact no proceeds of crime were sought by the Crown.

Nottingham Crown Court.

He said Palmer was released from his last prison sentence, for a firearms offence, in October 2020, but the terms of his release ‘greatly restricted access to his five children’.

Mr Thatcher said: “That has been a great source of pain. “He borrowed the money in November 2020. It had been an ill-conceived attempt to make up for Christmases lost.”

The court heard Palmer’s employment prospects were hindered by lockdown and his debt climbed to £6,000.

Because he was recalled to prison after his arrest, ‘not one day of his time in custody will count towards the new sentence’, said Mr Thatcher and ‘he has had to wait the better part of 16 months for this to be resolved’.

Sentencing, Mr Recorder Michael Auty QC told Palmer: “You're not an easy man to sentence. You know lives are ruined and shattered by the effect of these drugs and your life has been affected as well.”

However, he said Palmer deserved ‘maximum credit for your early guilty plea’ and noted the delays were not his fault.

He imposed ‘the least sentence I can pass’ of three years’ jail.

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