Hatfield student gets suspended sentence after turning to drug dealing

PUBLISHED: 17:06 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:13 22 August 2017

The University of Hertfordshire's de Havilland campus in Hatfield. Photo: UNIVERSITY OF HERFORDSHIRE

The University of Hertfordshire's de Havilland campus in Hatfield. Photo: UNIVERSITY OF HERFORDSHIRE

Photographs copyright © University of Hertfordshire

A student living in Hatfield resorted to drug dealing to make ends meet, a court heard.

But after parking his car in Park House Court and going into a block of flats, Oladimeji Williams aroused suspicions of plain clothes police officers in the area.

And when he returned to the vehicle, but then left on seeing the officers, they decided to question him

As a result, St Albans Crown Court was told, cash and cannabis were recovered from the 21-year-old.

He pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

The court was told that in the search on February 3 this year, officers found £120 on Williams.

In the car, a black Vauxhall Astra, officers found two mobile phones and seven bags of cannabis, said prosecutor Kevin West.

Back at Williams’ home in Errington Close, Hatfield, the prosecutor said officers found 35 bags of cannabis and more cash.

Text messages found on his mobile phone told the officers Williams was dealing.

Mr West said in total 105 grams of cannabis was found in the defendant’s possession along with £250 in cash

Alex Britton, defending, said Williams was a student at the University of Hertfordshire studying mass communication.

He said his client had achieved good GCSE and A-level results before going to university where, in his first year, he had been introduced to cannabis.

The barrister said that in his second year, with his student loan reduced and his mum unable to provide financial support, Williams had found himself strapped for cash.

He had got himself a part time job but was still feeling the pinch.

It was then, said Mr Britton, that Williams had got the idea to sell cannabis and had been doing it for two weeks when he was arrested.

Passing sentence, Recorder Leslie Cuthbert QC told Williams he had been dealing in cannabis which was often a “gateway drug” leading people to move on to more serious drugs.

He sentenced Williams to eight months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered he carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Following the court case, Geraldine Ward, Dean of Students at the University of Hertfordshire, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The university has a number of services available to students to support their wellbeing including financial advice services, debt counselling, group workshops and one-to-one sessions with dedicated support officers.

“Hardship grants and emergency loans are also available for students who find themselves in financial difficulty.

“We have a strict code of conduct that we expect our students to abide by and unlawful behaviour is not tolerated in our university community.”

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