No prison term for drug dealer

PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:00 10 June 2010

An Exmouth drug dealer, caught with amphetamine stashes in his freezer and fridge, has been spared a prison sentence because of his personal and mental health difficulties. Exeter Crown Court heard when police raided 56-year-old Paul Shurben s home they f

An Exmouth drug dealer, caught with amphetamine stashes in his freezer and fridge, has been spared a prison sentence because of his personal and mental health difficulties.Exeter Crown Court heard when police raided 56-year-old Paul Shurben's home they found 60 grams of amphetamine worth £600, a dealer's list in a blue book, incriminating text messages and electronic scales.Shurben admitted that he was in possession of the amphetamine but denied that he was going to supply it. However, he was convicted of the more serious charge.Mitigating, Nick Bradley said Shurben now recognised that to deal in any drug was a serious matter, although he had not faced up to that reality during the course of the trial. However, now he had expressed different views to a probation officer and a doctor and while normally a prison sentence followed it was in the best interests of the defendant and the public that he be dealt with in the community.Mr Bradley said the right path to solving Shurben's problems was not an easy one but it might be that a community order rather than a suspended sentence would give the court more powers if he transgressed again.Shurben, of Exeter Road, Exmouth, was given a two-year community order with two years supervision and a two-year drug rehabilitation requirement. He was also made the subject of a two-year mental health treatment requirement.Passing sentence Recorder Martin Meeke QC told Shurben: "In March last year the police raided your flat and found the 60 grams of amphetamine. At your trial, it became apparent that not only was amphetamine found but a dealer's list and text traffic on your phone. This case passes the custody threshold but in your case I have had the advantage of reading a doctor's report which sets out your history of personal problems together with an explanation for your amphetamine use and dealing in it. It is because of those problems and your mental health difficulties I feel it would be wrong to pass an immediate prison sentence."It is said that you now hate amphetamine and want to be rid of it. This is your chance to prove that but if you continue to use it and test positive then you will end up in prison.

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