Dealer hid £3,000 of cocaine in a secret compartment in his car

PUBLISHED: 17:18 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 09 January 2020

Matthew Sykes, who has been jailed for more than three years. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Matthew Sykes, who has been jailed for more than three years. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A drug-dealer was caught by police hiding almost £3,000 of cocaine and £1,000 cash in a compartment of his car.

On November 27, 31-year-old Matthew Sykes was pulled over while driving a Mitsubishi and searched by police, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Speaking during a sentencing hearing on Thursday, prosecutor John Morgans told how Sykes was found with more than £1,000 in cash - but it was when officers noticed the central console of the vehicle was loosely screwed that they made a second discovery.

Hidden inside was an array of plastic bags containing various amounts of cocaine, totalling 55g and with an estimated street value of £2,900. Officers also found more cash - close to £1,000 in £20 notes.

Sykes, of The Turnpike, Bunwell, was sentenced to more than three years in jail, having been convicted of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Shaw said: "If you have seen somebody addicted to a class A drug I do not see how in any conscience you can sell these drugs - knowing the impact they have.

"Selling drugs is a very serious matter and I am sure you are aware that they ruin lives. They have ruined your life and the lives of your loved ones who will be without you for many years."

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Norwich Crown Court heard how following his arrest, Sykes told police that he owed more than £15,000 to other drug dealers from a previous stint selling cannabis - a suggestion the judge disputed.

He said: "I find your claim to have built up a £15,000 debt from selling cannabis difficult to accept. There always seems to be a bigger fish that will pressure people to get involved in more crime.

"I have given you the opportunity to give evidence about a third party which would have helped the police, but you turned this down."

Ian James, mitigating, told the court that no drug paraphernalia was discovered in Sykes' property when it was searched and that while awaiting sentencing he had been taking courses in jail.

Sykes was sentenced to 40 months in prison - three years and four months. He will be required to serve a minimum of half of this sentence.

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