Jail for boat builder who dealt cocaine when his overtime was cut
A BOAT-BUILDER turned to drug-dealing when his firm scrapped overtime and he fell on hard times, a court heard.
When police raided Nicholas Evans' Plympton home on June 8 last year, they found nearly half a kilo of cocaine on top of a wardrobe, prosecutor Jason Beal told Plymouth Crown Court.
There were 16 one-ounce bags with an average purity of six per cent and an estimated street value of £600-£1,200 per bag.
Evans told police he had started with 18 bags, selling two for £450 each, bringing the total value of the cocaine to £7,200.
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Police also found two small amounts of cocaine at 1g and nearly 2g, plus just under 175g of mephedrone with an estimated street value of £3,500.
Also in the house were a 600g bag of bulking powder, electronic scales, pressing plates, ziplock bags, a list of names and numbers and a mobile phone containing texts relating to buying and selling cocaine.
During the search, Evans and his wife arrived, his first words to police being: "It's nothing to do with her."
He told police he had not yet paid the £5,000 cost of the cocaine, and had expected to make £2,000 profit.
Mr Beal said Evans, 29, had no previous convictions, but admitted previously selling drugs before.
Ali Rafati, for Evans, said his client had worked hard all his life and never claimed benefits.
He supported his wife and daughter and was very supportive to his parents.
He worked for a well-known city boat-builder, and by working overtime boosted his income to £38,000 a year.
But Mr Rafati said that two and a half years ago, the company stopped overtime and Evans ran into financial difficulties.
"Things escalated, they got out of hand and his debts grew," he said.
"He dabbled in drugs and got involved in this."
Mr Rafati said Evans had since paid his drug suppliers for the cocaine so his family would not come under pressure.
He said Evans' home in Bellingham Crescent had dropped in value, he had sold his car and his wife was expecting their second child.
Judge Paul Darlow told Evans, who pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug, possessing a class A drug with intent to supply and possessing a class B drug: "You were in a significant way of business.
"You didn't mind perpetuating the addiction of others."
Sentencing Evans to 50 months in jail, he said he felt sorry for Evans' wife and parents at the back of the court.