Scarborough teenager Cameron Hunter used his grandma's £4,000 inheritance to begin drug-dealing, court told

A teenager used a £4,000 inheritance from his grandmother to launch a lucrative drug-dealing enterprise, a court heard.

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 6th February 2020, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 10:30 am

Police found over £2,000 of cannabis and over £11,000 in cash at Cameron Hunter’s home in Scarborough after being called out to reports of “suspicious drug activity” in the neighbourhood, York Crown Court heard.

When an officer turned up at Queens Terrace, Hunter was in the middle of a drug deal with another man, said prosecutor Rachel Landing.

On seeing the officer, Hunter tried to run away but was soon apprehended.

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York Crown Court

Teenager Jordan Eastwood jailed for three burglaries of Scarborough businessesPolice later searched his home where they found over £2,400 of cannabis and over £11,000 in cash – the proceeds of drug deals.

The cannabis was found inside a tub in a shower cubicle and officers also discovered a box of money on top of a wardrobe containing £11,080.

The 240g cannabis stash had a street value of £2,437.

During police questioning, Hunter, 19, said he was a drug user but claimed initially that a large part of the money found at his home was inherited from his grandmother.

However, he later admitted that he had used the £4,500 inheritance to buy drugs.

He told officers he “realised he could make a lot of money (by dealing drugs)”, added Mrs Landing.

Hunter, now of Victoria Street, pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply and acquiring criminal cash following his arrest in April 2018.

His partner, 20-year-old Emily Bailey, admitted allowing her home to be used for drug-dealing, although she was not involved in the supply herself.

Mrs Landing said that Hunter had been “genuinely remorseful” during police questioning.

He told police he had been “stupid” because he had a family to support and claimed he had only been dealing to friends and associates upon request.

Bailey, also of Victoria Street, told officers she was unaware of the extent of her partner’s drug-dealing.

In November 2018 - about six months after his arrest for dealing - Hunter was convicted of drug-driving but had not offended in the two years since then.

Nick Peacock, representing both defendants, said Hunter was an intelligent young man with good qualifications who had turned to drug-dealing after struggling to find work or an apprenticeship.

“He got the inheritance from his grandmother (and) used that to start this fledgling cannabis business,” added Mr Peacock.

He said the “devoted” father-of-one had since found work as a labourer, was now drug-free and “just wanted to look after his family now”.

Hunter’s “short-lived” dealing enterprise had been shut down by police “almost as soon as it started”, added the barrister.

He said Bailey was a good mother who had been with Hunter for three years and had also given up cannabis.

Recorder Simon Jackson QC described Hunter’s drug-dealing enterprise - albeit two years ago - as a “fairly-organised and planned scheme”.

He told Hunter: “You have used an inheritance of (about) £4,000 in order to expand what had been a small, so-called social-dealing (enterprise)… (into) larger-scale drug-dealing.”

He described it as an “insidious activity”, but because Hunter had no similar previous convictions and had since sought help to come off drugs, he could suspend the inevitable jail sentence for one so young.

The 20-month sentence was suspended for two years, but Hunter was ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and complete a 20-day rehabilitation course. He was also made subject to a three-month nightly curfew.

Bailey was given a community order with 20 rehabilitation days.