Drug dealer jailed after fingerprints led to search of Knottingley home

A dealer has been jailed for more than two years after fingerprints found on a wrap of drugs led police to search his Knottingley home.

Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 6:00 am

Officers searching Joel Cooling's address found two cannabis plants growing in tubs, 827mg of the psychedelic drug DMT and a mobile phone containing evidence of drug dealing.

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Leeds Crown Court heard there were numerous messages on the phone dating from May 2017 until April 2018 relating to the commercial supply of LSD, ecstasy, ketamine and cannabis.

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Joel Cooling's home was searched after police found his fingerprints on a seized wrap of drugs.

Prosecutor Jeremy Hill-Baker said Cooling's fingerprints had been taken by police in when he was arrested in December 2017 for growing cannabis and dealt with through a community resolution.

When the 29-year-old's fingerprints were found on a seized wrap of drugs at a later date, it led police to secure a warrant to search his home in Aire Street on April 9, 2018

The court heard he admitted growing the cannabis plants on the basis that they were for personal use.

Cooling also pleaded guilty to offering to supply Class A and B drugs and possessing a Class A drug.

Richard Canning, mitigating, said his client was a man of previously good character and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said the 18-month wait between being arrested and charged had been particularly difficult because of Cooling's mental health issues.

Mr Canning added that Cooling had stopped offending because he realised his dealing drugs was putting people at risk of harm.

Addressing the judge himself from the dock, Cooling said: "Since then I've realised the error of my ways. I've completely changed."

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said he had taken into account the lengthy wait for police to bring charges, the lack of previous convictions and the findings of reports prepared by the Probation Service.

Sentencing Cooling to 28 months in prison, the judge noted: "You have deep-seated beliefs in relation to the drug laws of this country and how they should apply to you."