WHEN a young man found himself out of work because of the first Covid lockdown he turned to drug-dealing to earn some cash.
But after selecting Leamington ‘at random’ for his money-making enterprise, 19-year-old Elvis Boateng was arrested after plain-clothed officers spotted him selling to a known addict.
And at Warwick Crown Court, less than half a mile from where he was caught, he pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to supply them.
Boateng, of Letchlade Close, Henley Green, Coventry, was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutor Omar Majid said in August last year police officers on plain-clothed patrol saw Boateng with a known drug-user in Riverside, just off Adelaide Road in Leamington.
He was stopped, and when the officers searched him they found seven wraps of cocaine, four of heroin and £135 in cash.
So he was arrested, and the police then searched his bedroom at his home, where they found a further ten wraps of crack cocaine and another £510 in cash.
When he was interviewed Boateng said he had been on his way home when he was arrested, but had come to Leamington to sell drugs ‘to anyone who would buy them,’ having chosen the town at random.
He claimed despite what the officers had seen he had not sold any and that the money found on him was from a friend.
And of the money found at his home, he said that had come from work, but in fact he had not worked for some time because of Covid.
Dean Easthope, defending, said Boateng had been recruted to sell drugs.
“He was approached by somebody initially to hold the drugs, and then was asked ‘can you do this little deal here and this little deal there?’
“He was deliberately targeted and seen as expendable.
“He says he was brought to Leamington and told what to do. He was expecting to be paid a minimum wage. The money he took was to go back to the person who gave him the drugs.”
Mr Easthope said Boateng came from a law-abiding family and was now in full-time education at college as well as working a night shift at a warehouse.
Sentencing Boateng, Recorder Rachel Brand QC told him: “To those people who got you involved in this drug-dealing, you are utterly expendable. You’re disposable, just like when you finish your drink you throw away the bottle, if you go to jail they just find another fool to take your place.
“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate. The only question is whether it should be immediate or suspended – and I am just, but only just, persuaded that I can suspend it.”