Ashley Richardson, 29, of Springfield Road, Brighton, .Jailed 9 years 4 months for dealing drugs including crystal meth. .Picture from Sussex Police..
A JUDGE has issued a warning to dealers blighting Brighton and Hove with crystal meth.
As he sent dealer Ashley Richardson to jail for more than nine years yesterday, Judge Jeremy Gold QC said: “Citizens of this city and gay citizens in particular who are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into using this pernicious and highly addictive drug expect suitable punishment to be meted out to drug dealers like you.
“You were selling class A drugs, including crystal meth which apparently is growing in popularity in the city of Brighton and Hove, which appears to be particularly linked to the large gay scene in city.
“This is illustrated by the fact that you were approaching customers via the Grindr app.”
Richardson, 29, had been selling drugs using the gay dating app. Richardson had been given numerous second chances, but after being handed a suspended prison sentence for possession with intent to supply drugs in April, returned to dealing within two months. He sold drugs from his home in Springfield Road because he was on a curfew and not allowed out.
Judge Gold added: “On previous occasion you have been dealt with leniently.
“But sadly you appear to have to have used that leniency as a signal to continue dealing drugs regardless of the consequences. You had a leading role in your own drug supply business.”
Richardson was caught by undercover police officers after he sent messages on Grindr saying “Tina anyone?” using the slang name for the drug.
Undercover officers then met him at his home and in public several times, buying crystal meth, cocaine and MDMA off him and capturing him on hidden cameras.
He sold the officers crystal meth for £120 a gram which was 99% pure.
Amy Packham prosecuting said: “The exchanges were videoed by the police officer and the defendant was identified as it was very good quality.
“He told the officer he goes to London two to three times a week on public transport to restock and would change his appearance with different clothes glasses, hats and wigs to disguise his appearance on the train.
“He describes selling MDMA pills and what quality and price they are. The defendant said he had made £3,000 during the Pride weekend selling pills.
“In a further discussion about meth he says he can get a superior version selling for£200 a gram which is better for slamming, meaning injecting.”
When his flat was searched by officers they found drugs, paraphernalia as well as written notes showing he was employing drivers and using at least three individuals to supply drugs for him.
Police hope Grindr will take action against dealers. Richardson previously pleaded guilty to eight drugs charges as well as breaching two previous suspended sentences.
Detective Sergeant Dee Wells from the Brighton and Hove Community Investigation Team said: “Richardson was a significant dealer who was advertising his cocktail of drugs including crystal meth, cocaine and amphetamine as ‘party bags’ online. He had already been given a 22-month suspended sentence in May last year for possession with intent to supply such drugs but ignored it and carried on dealing.
“Crystal meth is becoming more prevalent in Brighton and Hove with police seizures of it increasing over the last year and we would urge anyone who has information about the supply of this particularly harmful drug to contact us.”
Source: The Argus