Leeds cocaine and heroin dealer used girlfriend's house to sell drugs

A man who got into dealing cocaine and heroin after losing his job during the pandemic has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

By Richard Beecham
Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:30 pm

A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court heard how Paul Lang, 37, used the home he shared with his girlfriend Jamie Staten, 32, to sell drugs, despite three children living at the address at the time.

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A police search of the house on August 11, 2021 found drugs, including crack and heroin, to the value of £1,360, as well as mobile phones, and various amounts of cash totalling £3,176.10.

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Paul Lang was given a four and a half year jail sentence.

Lang, had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, as well as possessing criminal property.

Prosecuting, Adam Walker said Lang had a clear understanding of the scale of the operation, and that "aggravating features" included taking control of another person's premises, and having "three children living in the house".

Defending Lang, Nicholas Hammond said: "When in March 2020 he lost his job and fell into a depression and started using drugs again. He then became indebted and it was suggested he could pay if off [by becoming involved]."

On May 17 this year, Staten, of St Luke's Green, Beeston, had appeared in court charged on allowing her house to be used for supplying drugs, before changing her plea to guilty.

Defending Staten, Michael Walsh said: "She was not involved in the what Lang was doing, she knew in her mind he was doing something criminal related to the drugs.

"She found herself in a situation where she was at the address and could not control what [Lang] might be involved win, and it was for a short period."

Sentencing Lang, Judge Rodney Jameson said: "I accept times have been difficult, but for those involved in manual work as a result of Covid. That put you in a position to make an important decision as to which way your life was going to go.

"But you chose the wrong one.

"Many people were put into a comparable position by Covid and they did not do what you did - you were actively dealing cocaine and heroin.

"There was more than £3,000 cash there, and it's a place where children were present."

He sentenced Lang to four and a half years in prison.

Sentencing Staten, Judge Jameson said: "You allowed your premises to be used for drug dealing and you have been less than frank about what you knew about what was going on. You have been, at best, ambivalent about this."

He gave Staten a two-year community order and 120 hours unpaid work.