UK Jailed - cannabis dealer who said Universal Credit wasn't enough last minute news
MetiNews.Com - Sean Hunt told police he couldn't afford to support his family on the £135 a week he was paid in benefits
Breaking News ! A man turned to drug dealing after losing his job, claiming that his Universal Credit payment wasn't enough to support his family. Sean Hunt began selling cannabis to provide for his family before he was caught by police twice in the space of a month, Lancashire Live reports. After being arrested, Hunt claimed he had started dealing as he couldn't afford to support his family on the £135 a week he was paid in benefits. He told police that his earnings from selling the Class B drug totalled around £200 a week. Hunt was jailed at Preston Crown Court as a Judge told the 32-year-old he was 'at the end of the road.' Prosecuting, Sara Haque said that officers were on non-uniform patrol in Skelmersdale, Lancashire on May 15 last year. "At 6.25pm, they saw the defendant in a black Passat vehicle parked near the Sandy Lane shops," she told the court. "The officers saw what appeared to be a suspicious exchange at the driver’s window before the vehicle drove off." Police followed the car and parked behind it before asking Hunt to step out while they carried out a search, the court heard. Get our free M.E.N. Court newsletter Manchester's courts are some of the busiest in the country with a vast array of cases heard every week. To keep up to date with how justice is being served across Greater Manchester subscribe to our free weekly M.E.N. Court News newsletter put together by our court reporters Andrew Bardsley and Amy Walker. How do I sign up? First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre. Once you're there, put your email address where it says at the top, then tick the MEN Court News box.
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In the car, they found 10 bags of cannabis worth around £215 and between the vehicle and Hun'ts pockets was a total of £3,090. He claimed that around half the amount was made through the sale of a car, and the other half was linked to the drug dealing. Ms Haque added: "The defendant made full admissions in interview. He said he had recently lost his job and was dealing to support his family on top of his £135 Universal Credit which he stated he could not live off."
(Image: Lancashire Police handout)
Hunt, of Whitburn, Skelmersdale, was released under investigation but arrested again on June 19 last year, when police spotted him 'acting suspiciously' in a BMW. Officers this time found cannabis worth £120 in the car and Hunt gave the same explanation and stated that he was already on bail for similar offences. When his phone was checked, messages arranging deals and advertising drugs were found. Ms Haque said that Hunt has convictions dating back to 2004, including a suspended sentence for the same offences in 2017.
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Defending, David Lacide said his client had been unusually candid and co-operative both with the police and the court. He said there was an 'element of immaturity' about why Hunt decided to get involved in crime but said he now regretted it. He stated that Hunt was now back in legitimate work and argued that a suspended sentence would be more beneficial. Mr Lacide added: "Rather than taking away from society, being a drain, he could give something back both through his employment and unpaid work." But Judge Lunt said that the suspended sentence in 2017 should have been the only warning needed. "This is the end of the road," she told him. Hunt, who earlier admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply, possession of criminal property and being concerned in the supply of cannabis, was handed a 12 month sentence.
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