Rugby man jailed for plot to deal crack which he kept in a pink sock

editorial image

A convicted drug smuggler tried to sell more than £3,000 worth of crack cocaine he said he had stolen from a drug dealer’s stash.

And at Warwick Crown Court Paul Francis, 45, of Green Court, Rugby, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to possessing the crack with intent to supply it.

Prosecutor Gareth Walters said that on February 16 the police raided a flat in Biart Place, Rugby, to search for drugs.

In one pocket of a jacket in a bedroom they found a pink sock containing two blocks of crack cocaine, while in another pocket were four individual wraps of the drug.

The crack, which weighed a total of 33.85 grams, would have a street value of £3,380 – and the officers also found £520 in cash.

When he was interviewed, Francis said he had stolen the drugs a week earlier from a dealer’s stash in the same state the officers had found it – two blocks and four wraps.

Francis said he did not use the drug himself, although he had in the past, and had been out on the streets trying to sell it but had not found any buyers.

Francis had been fined for possessing drugs in Jamaica in 1997, jailed for 21 months in 1998 for drug-smuggling and jailed for eight-and-a-half years in 2003 for illegally importing crack cocaine.

Nick Devine, defending, said: “I don’t dispute the fact that this was a significant role. By his own admission he was intending to sell these drugs for financial gain.

Mr Devine said Francis had used heroin and crack in the past, but had “got his act together” and cleaned himself up – but “when the opportunity presented itself to him, he found it impossible to resist”.

Jailing Francis, Recorder Christopher Tickle told him: “You are a professional, in the sense that you have obvious knowledge of how to exploit the drugs world. You clearly know how to get hold of drugs and what to do with them.

“I accept you yourself have addressed your own drug habit and have some insight into the misery drugs can cause. But that cuts both ways because you carried on using your knowledge and, no doubt, contacts.”

PC Nik Walpole, beat manager for Rugby Town North, said:

“This prosecution demonstrates Warwickshire Police’s commitment to fight illegal drug use and supply within the Rugby area. Supply of Class A drugs will continue unless we tackle it head on.

“With the help of the community, we are continuing to challenge and disrupt traffickers of Class A drugs and the four-year sentence received by Paul Francis is just another way of showing our commitment, support and attitude towards protecting the people of Warwickshire from harm”