76-year-old from Cattedown jailed for three years for supplying cocaine and cannabis
A DRUG-DEALING grandfather has been jailed for three years after admitting selling cocaine and cannabis.
Bryan Stone, 76, right, has a criminal record stretching back 64 years to 1949.
The pensioner appeared at Plymouth Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four charges – possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing cannabis with intent to supply, possession of cannabis resin and possession of diazepam.
A senior detective told The Herald after the case that Stone, from Cattedown, was the oldest dealer he had charged in 26 years of policing.
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Prosecutor Alex Allsop told the court how white-haired Stone was arrested after police executed a drugs warrant at his home on May 25 last year. He was caught leaving his front door with a green shoulder bag. In his pockets, officers found 25 grams of skunk cannabis, £290 in cash and a mobile phone.
In the bag, they found digital scales which later revealed traces of cannabis, cocaine, and cutting agents benzocaine and caffeine.
A search of Stone's property turned up numerous quantities of cocaine, cannabis and Temazepam. The drugs were found on shelves, in a lounge sideboard, on the floor and in the kitchen, the court heard.
In total, police discovered 121.8g of cocaine, with a purity of three percent, 198.3g of cannabis, 14.55g of cannabis resin and 484 diazepam tablets.
Much of the cannabis was already separated into 1oz deals.
The value of the drugs was £4,847 for the cocaine, £2,126 for the cannabis, £40 for the cannabis resin and £484 for the diazepam.
Mr Allsop said Stone had a history of drug dealing. He was jailed for seven years in 1986 for "drug offences" and a further seven years in 1994 for dealing amphetamine.
The court heard that Stone had acted as a courier or warehouseman and would respond directly to requests by phone for drugs.
He had not committed any similar offences since 1994 but had been in contact with "old associates" who revealed he had an outstanding "drug debt", the court was told.
As a result, Stone endured an "increasing amount of pressure" by these old associates to return to his former ways, Mr Allsop said.
His dealing not only chipped away at his drug debt but also provided him with a "salary".
In mitigation, Jo Martin said Stone remained the sole carer for two of his step-grandchildren, and at one stage had cared for all four of his step-daughter's children.
She said Stone had shown "unusual frankness" in admitting he had returned to dealing not just to pay off the debt, but because he had "felt isolated" and "good" about being with his old associates.
He had been jailed for three months in 2007 for "failing to pay a confiscation order" – after he "came into contact with former associates" who returned him to his former trade.
Miss Martin said it was "quite sad" that the only way he was made to feel a part of society again was through dealing drugs, thanks to "old associates with criminal tendencies".
Sentencing Stone, Judge Paul Darlow said drug dealing was "an evil trade".
He addedwhile Stone had been pressured into the role it had given him "a social identity", "a salary", and a thrill at doing "an unusual act for someone your age".
He sentenced Stone to 36 months for dealing cocaine and 18 months, to run concurrently, for dealing cannabis. He said his counts of possession would receive no separate penalty.
Following the hearing, Detective Constable Ken Ord, who headed the police inquiry, told The Herald: "Stone was the oldest man I've ever charged in my 26 years as a police officer.
"Nothing surprises me any more.
"It doesn't matter what age you are, if you're involved in causing people misery by selling drugs and you get caught you face a custodial sentence."