Barber caught out in police’s cocaine sting

Nics Hair Salon on Prospect Road . Pic Richard Ponter 143022a
Nics Hair Salon on Prospect Road . Pic Richard Ponter 143022a

A drug-dealing barber was snared by undercover police during a crafty cocaine sting in Scarborough.

Nicholas Atkinson, known as “Nic the Barber”, was visited in his Prospect Road salon by officers masquerading as potential drug customers.

They exchanged phone numbers with Atkinson, who arranged by text to meet up with them two weeks later, when he handed over 3.5 grams of cocaine.

The officer paid him £200 for drugs, York Crown Court heard.

About a fortnight later, Atkinson arranged for the officers to meet another dealer at the back of a pub in North Marine Road, where the contact handed the officers a £230 bag of M-Cat.

Three months later, two undercover officers returned to the barber’s shop and lured Atkinson into a conversation about cocaine. Later that day, he sent one of the officers a text with the phone number of a cocaine dealer who met up with them in Durham Street and handed them four wraps of powder for £280.

Having gathered incontrovertible evidence of the barber’s dodgy dealings, the plain-clothed officers arrested Atkinson at his salon on May 8.

They also searched his home in James Street, where they found 13 cannabis plants and sophisticated cultivation equipment in three bedrooms.

Atkinson, 47, was charged with five separate drug offences including supplying 3g of cocaine and being concerned in the supply of 27g of M-Cat in October last year.

He admitted both offences plus two others of being concerned in the supply of 2.7g of cocaine on January 8 this year, and producing cannabis between May 6 and 8.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner said Atkinson was otherwise a man of good character with no previous convictions.

Judge Tim Roberts QC gave the hairdresser an 18-month jail sentence suspended for two years. He ordered Atkinson to carry out 240 hours’ unpaid work and imposed a 12-month supervision order.