When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley drug dealer on benefits ‘had life of luxury’
9:00pm Thursday 2nd August 2012 in News
A CANNABIS dealer on benefits enjoyed a “life of luxury” even though he claimed he didn’t make a penny out of selling drugs, a court was told.
Heavy user Daniel Sharples, 27, admitted he sometimes supplied cannabis, but alleged it was to friends only, and at cost price.
Disabled Sharples, who has epilepsy and does not work, got about £1,200 of taxpayers’ cash each month, and smoked up to £800 worth of cannabis.
When police raided his rented home, in Duke Bar, Burnley, last September, they found cannabis worth £1,400, and Sharples had £1,000 cash in his pocket, the town’s crown court was told.
The hearing was told that, as well as the drugs stash and money, officers discovered the house was full of expensive electrical goods, including a £700, 47- inch flat screen television, an X-box and DVD player, a large, American-style fridge, a surround sound system, and even a Dyson cleaner.
Sharples claimed he paid for everything in the house, and for his cannabis with his benefits, and with the help of his mother, who assisted him financially when he was “struggling”.
Sharples, of Furness Street, admitted supplying cannabis, but pleaded guilty on the basis he sold at wholesale prices, and made no profit.
The prosecution argued Sharples must have been making money as he was living beyond his means, and a trial over the facts was held.
David Macro, prosecuting, said: “It doesn't make sense for him to be simply giving cannabis to friends at cost price.”
Recorder Nick Clarke, QC, said he found Sharples was buying cannabis in bulk, and there was no other reasonable explanation, but that he must have been selling some at a profit, to fund both his life, and the consumption of drugs he had himself admitted.
Sharples was bailed until August 28 for sentence.