A COVENTRY father who stored more than £1,000 worth of drugs in an empty deep fat fryer at his home has had most of what he claimed to be his family’s holiday savings confiscated.
Anton Hinsley-Barrett, of Winston Avenue, previously denied possessing cocaine and cannabis resin with intent to supply before he changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court.
He was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Recorder Christopher Tickle also ordered £1,500 of the ‘holiday savings’ cash which was hidden behind a speaker cover to be forfeited under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said in August 2013 the police searched the 30-year-old’s home where he lived with his partner and their young child.
Officers found herbal cannabis, cannabis resin and cocaine in a plastic box on a kitchen worktop and several further bags of resin as well as a quantity of cocaine in a deep fat fryer in the utility room.
Altogether the cocaine was worth £975 at street level and the cannabis a further £268.
Mr Simpson said £2,000 in £20 notes was also found hidden behind the cover of a speaker in the bedroom.
When he was arrested and questioned the 30-year-old said he was a heavy user of both cocaine and cannabis and claimed all the drugs were for his personal use.
He added the cash was money he and his partner had saved between them for a holiday.
But eventually pleaded guilty to the charge on the basis that only the drugs found in the kitchen were for his personal use.
The drugs in the deep fat fryer were being stored for his dealer and he had hidden them there to ensure his partner would not know about them.
Hinsley-Barrett said: “I had been asked to look after those drugs for my dealer, and was to return them to my dealer. I know I should not have done it, but I did not want to anger my dealer by refusing.”
Justin Jarmola, defending, added: “It is an unusual place to find the money, but it was effectively the savings of him and his partner for a holiday.”
He said there were no other items found in the house which would be expected if Hinsley-Barrett had been involved in dealing himself, rather than simply being a custodian for his dealer.
Mr Jarmola said since the incident Hinsley-Barrett had addressed his drug issues and his cocaine use has stopped.
Recorder Tickle told him: “I am satisfied I have to deal with you on the basis that you were the guardian, for a period of time, for cocaine to a value of just under £1,000 and cannabis resin valued around £250 which you stored at your home.
“I am satisfied and sentence you on the basis that you had a limited function in this.”