A ‘committed drug dealer’ has been jailed for four years after his unlikely story failed to win over a judge.
Arren Thomas, 37, of Newbold Road, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing quantities of the two drugs with intent to supply them and producing cannabis.
But he entered his pleas on the basis that he and some friends had clubbed together to buy the amphetamine and cannabis to get them at a better price, and would have shared them out.
That was not accepted by the prosecution – and during a ‘trial of issue’ Thomas changed his story.
Giving an account that evidently tested the judge’s patience, he claimed he had found bags of amphetamine and cannabis in his back garden just minutes before the police arrived at his door.
Prosecutor Matthew Brook said that in April 2010 police officers investigating an incident at a pub went to Thomas’s home to speak to him about it.
Through the frosted glass in the door they saw Thomas in a panic inside, frantically running between various rooms and upstairs before he eventually answered the door.
Told he was being arrested for assault, he was overly co-operative, immediately offering to go with them to the police station and saying there was no need for them to go inside.
As soon as they did go in they noticed a strong smell of cannabis, so carried out a search and found cannabis and amphetamines - worth £23,000.
In court he claimed: “When I got home in my garden were two large bags. One was skunk and the other was a white powder. I picked them up; I thought I’d been set up. Naively and stupidly I took them into my house.”
Thomas, who said he had since moved to Bedford although he still has the Rugby address, added that he panicked when he saw the police outside.
Ian Gold, defending, conceded: “The court clearly rejected his protestations of innocence.”
Jailing Thomas, Judge Trevor Faber told him: “You lied your head off in the witness box, trying to wriggle your way out of the situation in which you found yourself. I am quite satisfied you were a committed drug dealer.”