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Middlesbrough man blew £55,000 payout and dealt drugs
A CRASH victim who blew his bumper compensation pay-out and started dealing drugs to make money walked free from court today (Thursday, October 25).
Shaun Foster spent the £55,000 damages – partly on a failed cafe venture – awarded for leg and spine fractures and spleen and head injuries.
The promising scholar became depressed when he was unable to continue with his studies and developed costly cocaine and cannabis habits.
The 25-year-old got into so much debt with dealers that he allowed his home in Middlesbrough to be used for storing and bagging drugs.
Police found £2,194 worth of cannabis and cocaine valued at £824 when they raided the house in Ellerbeck Way, Ormesby, on February 24.
Foster and his friend, 22-year-old Ricky Tierney, were arrested, but were bailed after being quizzed by police, Teesside Crown Court was told.
Ten weeks later, officers again searched the property and found more cannabis and £7,000 worth of naphydrone – a cutting agent – in the shed.
The court heard that unemployed Tierney – a well-known user of illegal substances – was also in debt and was working for Foster selling drugs.
His barrister, Richard Herrmann, told the court: “He is still a young man with limited previous convictions and he played a lesser role in this.”
He said the father-of-two, of Keith Road, Middlesbrough, still has the support of his ex-partner despite them parting shortly before the offences.
Glen Gatland, for Foster, told Judge Peter Armstrong that he had turned around his life since his double arrest – and had quit drugs.
He said he was now studying to become an electrical engineer, had moved away from bad influences and has sought counselling for depression.
Mr Gatland said Foster, now of Suffolk Street, Stockton, expected to go to prison, but told Judge Armstrong: “The alternatives are stark.”
Foster admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs, and possessing Class B with intent to supply, and got a 12-month suspended sentence.
He was also ordered to undergo 12 months of Probation Service supervision and carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Tierney got a six-month suspended sentence with supervision and 100 hours of work after he admitted possessing Class A drugs and conspiracy to supply them.
Judge Armstrong told Foster: “You have considerable personal mitigation from the most unfortunate event in 2006 when you were badly injured.
“It resulted in deep depression which led to you taking drugs, and when you were short of money you resorted to getting involved in their supply.”