Mansfield cocaine dealer was sniffed out by drug dog in town centre
A Mansfield cocaine dealer who was nabbed for the second time when a drug dog sniffed him out in the town centre has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Officers spotted Daniel Lockwood-Whitehouse walking away suddenly from the library, on July 5, 2019, prosecutor Stuart Pattinson told Nottingham Crown Court, on Wednesday.
They found seven deal bags of the Class A drug on him, which were valued at £435 by a drugs expert.
Around 3,500 messages on his mobile phone were checked and investigators found "certain exchanges clearly related to drug supply from at least August 2018 to June 2019."
On the day of his arrest Lockwood-Whitehouse sent a text advertising cocaine for sale, and there were other texts, discussing quantities and price in "slang terms."
The court heard he has three previous convictions for seven offences, and received a suspended sentence for possession of cannabis and cocaine with intent to supply, in September 2018, at Lincoln Crown Court.
Digby Johnson, mitigating, said Lockwood-Whitehouse was in full-time employment at the time but couldn't support his drug habit.
From time to time different people in his social circle would buy drugs, he added.
He said the defendant had now been clean for 22 months, even though support from the probation service was disrupted because of the pandemic.
"All help came to a stop in March 2020," he said. "There was potential for him to fall off the wagon at any stage."
Lockwood-Whitehouse, 24, of Chesterfield Road, Mansfield, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply and breaching the suspended sentence.
Recorder Jason Macadam observed that police officers should check evidence in drug cases more carefully, as defendants could "fall through the net into a lower category" by claiming they were selling to feed their own habits.
He told Lockwood-Whitehouse. "You've not offended since - or if you have, you haven't been caught. If you're peddling drugs still - or are tempted to go back to that - I hope you are caught soon."
The recorder said the sentencing landscape had changed, and the evidence didn't suggest he was making a profit.
Lockwood-Whitehouse received a 24 month sentence, suspended for two years, with 20 rehabilitation days and 100 hours of unpaid work. He was fined £150 for the breach.