Leeds dealer caught with drug haul from sick bed

Joshua Bentham
Joshua Bentham
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A drug dealer who repeatedly sold cannabis and Class A drugs despite being arrested and given bail has been jailed for five years.

Crohn’s disease sufferer Joshua Bentham was seriously ill in bed when police first searched his home in Leeds in June last year.

Officers found quantities of cannabis and cocaine along with a mobile phone which contained text messages referring to drug dealing.

Bentham, 24, was released on bail but he was arrested again on November 25 after officers spotted him driving his car erratically on Hall Lane, in Horsforth.

Bags of cannabis and cocaine were found inside the vehicle along with £146 in cash and another mobile phone.

Bentham’s home was searched and cocaine and the drug MDMA was discovered in the property.

Bentham was again bailed and was arrested in similar circumstances after his car was spotted being driven erratically on the A65 at Horsforth.

Bags of cannabis and cocaine were found in the vehicle.

Bentham, of Hawthorn Road, Yeadon, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, cannabis and MDMA with intent to supply.

He also admitted two offences of possession of cocaine, two of possession of cannabis, supplying cannabis and possessing criminal property.

Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said Bentham built up cannabis debts after smoking the drug to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Mr Rathour said Bentham’s own dealer became threatening when he was unable to pay off his debt, and he was forced to sell drugs.

Sentencing Bentham at Leeds Crown Court, Recorder Richard Wright QC, said: “The court takes no pleasure in seeing a young man like you before it.

“You are 24 and you are effectively of good character and from a close, loving, and supportive family.

“And yet you have engaged in serious drug dealing over a prolonged period of time.

“You do not seem to appreciate the impact that drugs have.

“The court’s experience is completely different, because the court sees the misery that is caused by this wicked and evil trade.”

The court heard Bentham had benefited by £3,042 as a result of his offending and had £2,331 available.

He was ordered to pay the sum within 45 days.