A SCARBOROUGH man who returned to drug dealing to help settle his girlfriend’s debts and buy his grandchildren Christmas presents has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Paul Ludford, 40, who was said at York Crown Court to have a “miserable, miserable” previous history involving drugs, burglary, violence and motoring matters, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of burglary.
However, after the jury was sworn in, he offered a guilty plea to handling items from the Scarborough burglary which was accepted by the prosecution.
Ludford, of Trafalgar Square, then fell to be sentenced on two admitted charges of supplying drugs in the town.
His counsel, Richard Woolfall, told the court that the ex-heroin addict, had turned to “doing what is not an isolated position” in Scarborough of selling drugs on behalf of others, in order to help both his girlfriend, who was being threatened by drug dealers because of what she owed them, and to pay for presents.
David Garnett, prosecuting, told how police called to the scene of a burglary in Nelson Street on the night of February 24 this year, found Ludford on the street corner, drinking from a bottle of wine from the burgled house and close to a TV which was also part of the haul.
Searches at his girlfriend’s home in Nelson Street, and at Ludford’s own home, uncovered all the other items from the burglary.
Ludford’s response to being quizzed by the police about the burglary was “prove it” said Mr Garnett, who added that the admitted handling of the property by the defendant was a breach of his bail on the drug offences.
Mr Garnett said that Ludford was seen by police officers handing out drugs to several people and, when approached, ran off, throwing wraps of the drugs as he went.
The court heard that the drugs involved totalled a maximum of £1,225 in value.
Mr Woolfall told the court that, after serving his last sentence for burglary, his client had tried to stay away from drugs and offending, but, after finding out that his new girlfriend was in considerable debt to drug dealers, returned to his old ways.
Passing sentence, Judge Michael Mettyear described Ludford’s previous criminal history as both “terrible” and “a miserable, miserable” record.
He added that drugs cause misery in all sorts of ways, not only for those who take them but for the victims of the crimes committed by those using them in order to fund their habits.
Judge Mettyear also told Ludford that handlers of stolen property were as responsible as burglars for causing lasting effects on the victims whose homes had been entered and their personal items gone through.