Public schoolboy with uni place caught selling drugs in Cardiff

A young drug dealer who gained a place at university was sent to Cardiff as part of a county lines operation to sell heroin and cocaine.

Chauncey Taylor, 21, was discovered attempting to deal Class A drugs among a group of six people from the London area who took over a vulnerable couple’s home in Leckwith to use as their base.

While Taylor admitted his role in the operation he claimed he had been threatened and intimidated into dealing by a drugs gang he owed a cannabis debt to.

He arrived in Cardiff on October 16 last year and had been dealing for four days before his arrest on October 19 at a property in Leckwith Place.

Prosecutor Alex Greenwood told a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court that officers observed a number of people in the flat, which was known to them, and became suspicious. When the officers knocked on the window the flat fell silent and men inside looked concerned.

Having suspected the couple in the flat had been victims of “cuckooing” the officer requested backup and when officers entered the property there was a strong smell of cannabis. Five men were detained and another man hiding outside in a car was also detained as officers conducted a search.

Taylor, one of the six men, was found with a package which had dropped from his buttocks and found to contain 97 wraps of heroin. A further 26 wraps of crack cocaine was found on another suspect.

The defendant’s home in Victoria Place, Epsom, Surrey, was later searched and officers located a knife, weighing scales, and empty plastic bags.

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He was arrested and later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine with a basis of plea stating he was acting under duress.

Defence barrister Emma Lewis said Taylor had run up a cannabis debt and a drug dealer had attended his home demanding him to repay the debt while making threats to him and his family.

He said he was not working and had no money so agreed to supply drugs in order to pay off the debt.

Ms Lewis added that her client came from a “supportive family” who had provided him with a public school education and he had gained a place at university, which he was unable to take up due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “He’s mortified to find himself in the this situation because of the impact it has had on his family.

“His mother is an ICU nurse and has provided crucial work during the pandemic. He was assisting with his sister’s care which she no longer has access to.”

Sentencing, Judge DJ Hale said: “Compared to most of the people I see you have had a better start than most. You’re bright, you’ve got a supportive, family and here you are.

“You know and must have known the dangers that must have arisen should you be caught. You say you were under pressure because of a drug debt but you know the risks you’re taking if you’re caught – that pressure is not a get out of jail card.”

Chauncey was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

WalesOnline – Cardiff