120 hours of community service for teen who was ‘groomed’ to sell drugs


A TEENAGER who was “groomed” by young adults to sell drugs has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

The child, who cannot be named due to his age, was 15 years old when he was caught in possession of hundreds of pounds’ worth of cannabis, amphetamine and ketamine.

He admitted three counts of possessing drugs with intent to supply, two of being concerned in the supply of drugs, as well as one charge of driving without a licence and one count of failure to display a window insurance disc.

Legal adviser Samantha Morris, prosecuting, described how the investigation formed part of a wider police operation, and that the offence in question had involved “a level of exploitation by some older youths as well as younger adults”.

The teenager used cannabis to help with his ADHD, the court heard, and had heard through word-of-mouth and social media that some young Islanders were getting involved in dealing drugs.

But these young adults, the advocate said, took advantage of other young people who used drugs, asking them to pay for their own usage by dealing.

The teenager was eventually stopped by the States police on 18 June last year.

Officers found some cannabis resin which was for personal use – along with seven tubes containing cannabis leaves and 28 tablets with Netflix logos on them.

The tablets were later tested and found to contain amphetamine.

He was also found to be carrying two small bags of ketamine.

The drugs were valued at around £20 for the cannabis, £260 to £390 for the amphetamine, and £480 to £640 for the ketamine.

He also had scales and £175 in cash.

Advocate Allana Binnie, defending, said the teenager had struggled with prescribed ADHD medication and had turned to cannabis to help him to focus.

She said: “He generally did think that the people he was interacting with were his friends and, although they were technically adults, they were young adults or older youths.

“[The teenager] didn’t see them as being significantly older than him.

“The fact of the matter is he was groomed; he was taken advantage of and his ADHD made it easier for him to be exploited.”

Advocate Binnie explained that he had already been in contact with drug dealers because he had been using cannabis.

“He then became aware… that young people were given the opportunity to make money by selling drugs.”

Through word-of-mouth and social media platforms including Snapchat, she said, “it was quite common knowledge amongst the youth of the Island”.

She added: “When [the boy] heard the figures involved, he made the foolish decision to become involved.”

But once he had started selling drugs, there was an expectation and pressure to remain involved, and to pay for his own cannabis use by selling the drugs, the court heard.

Advocate Binnie added that he had since distanced himself from the group in question and had made “considerable positive changes of his own volition”.

On a different occasion, the same teenager was caught driving a moped two weeks after his licence had expired, and he also hadn’t displayed his insurance disc properly.

Advocate Binnie called the two motoring offences “a genuine oversight”.

Delivering the sentence, the Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, said that the offences were “serious”, adding that his ADHD was not an excuse.

“Lots of people have ADHD and they don’t get involved in drug dealing,” she said.

The boy was sentenced to 120 hours of community service, a £350 fine and a nine-month probation order.

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