Hatfield drug dealer jailed after cocaine found in gear stick
PUBLISHED: 10:45 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:45 23 October 2018
A Hatfield electrician caught with nearly five grams of cocaine has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Theo Vaughan, of Ground Lane, was stopped by police on November 24, 2017 because of insurance concerns.
However, officers became suspicious when they could smell cannabis and with the help of a dog unit, searched the car.
Hidden in the gear stick was 4.78g of cocaine worth about £300, £6,320 in cash, and mobile phones containing incriminating texts.
Vaughan admitted possession of criminal property and intent to supply.
He indicated a guilty plea in mid-September to prosecuting Emily Lauchlan and was sentenced to three years and four months jail at St Albans Crown Court on Monday, October 22.
The 27-year-old also has to pay a £170 surcharge.
He has two previous convictions for three offences, the earliest in 2014 when police stopped his car outside McDonald’s and found he had a knife.
Defending barrister Charlotte Hole argued Vaughan’s mother is about to have surgery and if he is imprisoned, she will be left without physical and emotional support during her recovery.
She said: “They have each other for support in practical terms but for personal care as well.”
The crime was committed for financial gain after he “fell in with the wrong crowd”.
Another character reference, a family friend of 20 years, has secured him a job had he not been jailed.
Barrister Hole continued: “Her view of him may carry a bit more weight given she is not a family member.
“She feels falling into the wrong crowd is what led a caring and responsible young man to carry out criminal offences.
“She has confidence in his rehabilitation and that he can go on to make a positive contribution to society.”
He has also been clean of substance use since December last year.
Recorder Sean O’Sullivan QC said: “The suggestion you have fallen in with a bad crowd would be more realistic if you were a young man.
“More importantly, obviously your mother will suffer significantly as a result if you are imprisoned and it is very sad for her that she will have a combination of being in hospital and recovering and seeing her son in prison.”
He added: “The simple fact is that dealing Class A drugs is a very serious matter indeed.”