Man turned to dealing drugs

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A Spalding man turned to drug dealing after his benefits were slashed as a result of being sanctioned, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Jay Smith was just £20 a week to feed himself, his pregnant partner and their small child.

He was also expected to pay his fuel bills out of the money.

His lawyer Neil Sands said that Smith had been on £190 a week benefits but was sanctioned for four weeks after missing an appointment.

Instead Smith began selling cannabis and then continued to deal in drugs after his benefits were restored.

Mr Sands said “The start of this offending is that the defendant’s benefits were sanctioned.

“He was required to go to the Job Centre and he simply failed to do that on one occasion.

“He was sanctioned for four weeks.

“Their benefit was reduced to £20 a week for that period. It was down to a level that was just unrealistic. They were not going to be able to survive.

“These offences started because of the sanctioning by the DWP.”

Mr Sands said Smith owned up after he was arrested following a police search of his home in May this year. He has since stayed out of trouble and now has hopes of getting a job early in the New Year.

Smith (22), of Hereward Road, Spalding, admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply on May 14.

Hal Ewing, prosecuting, said that when police raided Smith’s home they found a quantity of cannabis divided into one gramme deals. A dealer’s list and £140 cash was also found and Smith’s mobile phone was found to contain messages which showed he was involved in drug dealing.

Mr Ewing said “Clearly a substantial amount of cannabis was being sold. In interview he accepted having sold cannabis for four weeks as he had lost his benefits.”

Judge Sean Morris deferred sentence to March 7 telling Smith that in the interim period he needed to try his hardest to get work.