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Drug dealer ‘too ill’ to be sent to prison
6:10am Monday 30th September 2013 in Echo News
A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND drug dealer has narrowly avoided jail because he is too ill to do time.
Ronald Jewell, 55, of Spire Road, Laindon, was handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years at Basildon Crown Court.
He admitted five counts of dealing class A drugs between October and December 2012, after being caught by an undercover cop as part of Essex Police’s Operation Acrylic.
He was also convicted of two counts of possession of explosives after a police raid on his home uncovered canisters of CS gas and nine 19mm rounds of live ammunition.
In mitigation, Jewell, who suffers from heart disease, type two diabetes and renal failure, told the court he had taken on his stepson’s drug dealing business in a bid to help him get off drugs and distance him from dealers and addicts.
He claimed he had taken the ammunition from another family member a number of years ago to stop them using it.
The court heard on one occasion Jewell, who operated under the alias “Bob”, was seen in Basildon town centre dealing drugs from his Ford Focus to a woman with a pram.
On another occasion he invited the undercover officer to his home to pick up crack cocaine and heroin, just minutes after returning from dialysis at Basildon Hospital.
Judge Owen Davies QC said he had little sympathy for Jewell’s reasons for dealing.
He said: “You deliberately chose to deal with a situation in a manner that was inappropriate and deliberate.
“I cannot see how on earth it helped your stepson.”
Judge Davies said Jewell, who suffered a heart attack in December and receives dialysis three times a week, would probably not get the standard of medical care he needed in jail.
He said: “The court has to act in a way which is more humane than the person before it.
“Understand it is only compassion for your health that keeps you out of jail.”
As well as his suspended sentence, Jewell was handed a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay £100 victim surcharge.
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