UK – Stroudnews
A 20-YEAR-OLD man visiting the UK from the Caribbean island of Grenada got involved in drug dealing in the Stroud area within two months of his arrival, a court heard on Friday.
Ansel Noel was jailed for 18 months at Gloucester Crown Court following his conviction by a jury last month on charges of supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Stroud.
Noel, who had been staying with his father and sister in Hayes, Middlesex, from January last year, was arrested in Stroud on March 22.
Prosecutor Janine Wood told the court that police stopped a red Toyota Corolla Noel was driving at 5.15am that day.
The officers felt he was driving too fast in very wet conditions.
When they spoke to him, he seemed very nervous, and they searched the vehicle.
They found three mobile phones in the car and two contained messages that indicated the supply of class A drugs, Ms Wood said.
“The messages were advertising the fact that cocaine and heroin were for sale in £20 and £10 deals. There was £405 in cash in the car,” she said.
Ms Wood said it was clear someone else was controlling Noel but to what extent was not known.
Noel claimed at his trial last month that he had travelled to Stroud by train about a week before his arrest to see a girlfriend.
He said that while at a house party he borrowed the car in which he was then stopped. He had no knowledge of the phones in the car or of the drug dealing, he claimed.
The jury rejected his account and found him guilty of both charges.
Probation officer Jo Hall told the court that Noel still maintained his version of events when she interviewed him for a pre-sentence report this morning. Noel’s defence asked the court to accept that his involvement in the illicit drug trade had been ‘very low.’