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Dealer caught with drugs hidden in his car made to pay back cash

PUBLISHED: 06:20 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:04 24 March 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 caught by police hiding more than £1,700 of cocaine in his car has been ordered to pay back £2,340, which was cash seized at his arrest.

Matthew Sykes, 31, of The Turnpike, Bunwell, was jailed for three years, four months, in January, this year, at Norwich Crown Court after being convicted of possession of Class A with intent to supply.

The court heard how Sykes was stopped in November last year, while in a Mitsubishi and when the vehicle was searched police found various amounts of cocaine in packages hidden in the console of the car.

Sykes claimed he had been dealing drugs as he had built up a debt from selling cannabis.

Sykes was back at court for a proceeds of crime hearing on Monday, to claw back some of the cash he made from drug dealing.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said the benefit figure for Sykes drug dealing operation was put at £5,3440 and said the amount of cash which could be clawed back was £2,340.

Mr Morgans said the cash was already being held by the police.

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He also ordered that a phone, which was seized at his arrest, be confiscated, and it was agreed that if Sykes provided the PIN number for the phone, then photos he had on the device could be saved on a disk, which could then be returned to him.

Ian James, who represented Sykes, who did not attend the hearing, said that it was an agreed order.

Judge Andrew Shaw also ordered that Sykes should serve two months in default of payment.

He also told Sykes: “If he wants his photos back he is going to have to provide his PIN number for his phone to police.”

At his sentencing hearing, in January, the court heard how Sykes had been pulled over by police on November 27, last year.

Officers noticed the central console of the vehicle was loosely screwed.

Hidden inside was an array of plastic bags containing various amounts of cocaine.

Sykes had claimed he had built up debts from cannabis dealing but Judge Shaw had told him: “There always seems to be bigger fish that will pressure people to get involved in more crime.”

He told Sykes that Class A drugs ruined lives and told him that they had ruined his life.

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