Drug dealer jailed for four and a half years after targeting Norwich home of vulnerable addicts
PUBLISHED: 20:31 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:06 21 April 2018
A judge has warned drug dealers that Norfolk juries “are not stupid” as he jailed a 21-year-old from London for four and a half years.
After being found by police alone at a house at Argyle Street, Shaquille Kwabua denied possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
It was despite being surrounded by 123 individual wraps of crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of £1,280.
After trial a jury convicted him on all counts and Judge Andrew Shaw told Kwabua: “Your cynical attempt to brazen it out in front of a jury was as unimpressive as it was futile.”
Kwabua had been arrested on August 14, and argued in court he had been under duress through debt accrued at university in Portsmouth.
But Judge Shaw said he found that evidence “impossible to accept”.
“Even if you were in debt you had choices,” he told him. “The choices you made were poor. You knew exactly what you were getting yourself into.”
Oliver Haswell, mitigating for Kwabua, said there was “an absence of evidence” to suggest he knew anything of the scope of the drugs operation before he arrived in Norwich.
“This is a young man who had lived a blameless life,” he said. “He was in such debt and was subjected to a very menacing amount of influence from those he had hitherto called friends.”
But Judge Shaw said Kwabua was part of “a classic drug dealing enterprise which crossed county lines and cuckooed the house of Norwich drug users.”
A Metropolitan Police investigation remains outstanding after a 16-year-old boy was arrested at the same property in June last year.
Judge Shaw added: “The occupants of that flat were vulnerable drug users whose home was cuckooed by you and an organised and professional metropolitan criminal group for whom you were working.
“The pernicious use by organised criminal groups of young men of good character must stop. The courts will not tolerate offending of this kind.”
After Kwabua’s mother gave evidence for her son, Judge Shaw told him he had “badly let her down.”
He said: “She did everything she could to teach you right from wrong. She raised you to be a useful member of society and you threw it back in her face.
“You abandoned your degree course and chose instead to involve yourself in serious and organised crime. Your involvement had all the hallmarks of someone coming up from London with a fresh batch to be sold and profits ready to be returned to those above you in the chain.
“You are an intelligent and healthy young man, peddling this poison to your advantage.
“Controlled drugs ruin the lives of those who become addicted to them. They ruin the lives of those robbed by drug addicts. Women prostitute themselves on the street to raise money to buy drugs.
“Drugs ruin the lives of those who become involved in selling them. If you do not learn a lesson from this they will also ruin your life.”
Kwabua was jailed for four and a half years, and ordered to forfeit £1,649.85 in cash and forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.