Drug dealer and driver caught in the middle of their deliveries

A drug dealer and his driver were caught as they travelled around making deliveries, a court has heard.

James Hutton and Katie Hawker were stopped by police who became suspicious as it looked like they were lost.

Hutton was later found to have 40 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine and more than £400 in cash, and he told officers he had already sold £300-worth of drugs that afternoon.

Swansea Crown Court heard the pair were arrested at around 5.30pm on February 15 this year.

Hannnah George, prosecuting, said two PCs on duty in the Uplands area of Swansea saw Hawker’s Peugeot car near Belgrave Lane “being driven in a manner that suggested the driver did not know where they were going” and stopped it.

The court heard 21-year-old Hutton became “irate” when talking to the officers and suddenly ran off across Walter Road.

Police chased and detained the defendant, and when searched he was found to be in possession of 25 wraps of heroin, 15 wraps of crack cocaine, £411 in cash, and a crack pipe. Hawker, aged 37, was detained at the car but nothing was found when she was searched.

Miss George said Hutton’s mobile phone contained bulk messages he had sent saying he had “best of both” available – a reference to heroin and cocaine – along with texts received from known drug users with post codes for deliveries.

The court heard Hawker’s phone contained a text in which she told a friend she had been asked to drive someone around Swansea and Neath, and she would “pinch” some of his drugs if she was able.

There were also 88 calls between the defendants logged on the phones.

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In his interview Hutton, who is from Hastings, initially said he had stolen drugs from a dealer and was now being forced to work to pay off the debt. He said he had sold some £300-worth of drugs that afternoon and was planning to sell the rest of the wraps he had. Hawker gave a “no comment” interview.

Hutton, of Priory Road, Hastings, East Sussex, had previosuly admitted possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply, supplying heroin and cocaine, and possession of criminal property in respect of the £411 cash when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Hawker, of Clyne Court, Sketty Park, Swansea, admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine when she appeared alongside him. She had previously admitted to driving without insurance and otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Hutton has previous convictions for robbery, theft, and perverting the course of justice while Hawker has previous conviction for motoring matters including driving with excess alcohol.

Hywel Davies, for Hutton, said the defendant’s father had been an addict, and his death had had a “devastating effect” on his client and led to his own involvement in drugs. He said as Hutton’s debts to others had grown he had been brought to Swansea to deal.

The barrister said the defendant had a partner and daughter, and as well as paying off his drug debts had dealt in order to earn money to ensure his child had a better upbringing than he had had.

He added that Hutton had completed a number of courses while being held on remand in prison and “hopes this part of his life remains a one-off”.

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Steve Burnell, for Hawker, said his client had been contacted to act as a driver on the day in question. He said the defendant had become involved in drugs following the death of her soldier husband.

Judge Huw Rees said he appreciated life had thrown up “personal difficulties and tragedies” for both defendants but he said the sentences he was going to pass would make them realise – if they did not know it already – how “pernicious” trafficking Class A drugs was.

Giving the defendants credit for their guilty pleas he sentenced Hutton to three years, and Hawker to 20 months. Each defendant will serve up to half of those periods in custody before being released on licence.

WalesOnline – Swansea