Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford drug dealer 'handed himself in' after deaths

A drug dealer "handed himself in" at a police station after his partner died giving birth to their stillborn baby, a court has heard.

Thomas Joan, 28, from Bedford told officers he had had enough of being in a "criminal cycle" selling class A drugs, Luton Crown Court was told.

Joan, of Carrick Road, also said he did not want police bail because he feared he would kill himself.

He admitted several offences and was jailed for two years.

'Understanding of weaknesses'

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said Joan turned up at a police station in Bedford on 21 July and told officers how he had lost both his partner and baby on 26 June.

He told officers he wanted to sort himself out, had been dealing for five months and handed over 10 wraps of heroin, Mr Shaw added.

During an interview with police, Joan said he had been forced into dealing and earned a £300 commission each week by selling to 30 regular customers.

He pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply, shoplifting and criminal damage to a CCTV cabinet.

Andrew Morton, defending, said: "He took an exceptional course following a personal tragedy just weeks before.

"He has demonstrated an understanding of his own weaknesses and is motivated to address his drug problem."

He asked for Joan to be given a drug treatment programme in the community.

Judge Richard Foster told Joan: "Unusually, you handed yourself in, but this was not just one day, you had been dealing for four or five months.

"You know the misery Class A drugs cause and you were prepared to inflict that misery upon others.

"You do need help but you will get that in custody and it should carry on when you are released on licence."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites