Father caught dealing cocaine to fund addiction spared jail

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A father caught dealing cocaine as part of an undercover police operation has been spared jail after a court heard he is now clean of drugs.

Simon Payen de la Garanderie was caught dealing crack cocaine to an undercover officer on two days in March last year.

It was part of Norfolk Police's Operation Granary, which saw dozens of drug dealers operating in Norwich arrested and jailed.

Payen de la Garanderie was part of a "smaller group" of dealers, known as the "Jacob" line.

"The person at the top of the tree, as far as we have been able to reach, was actively targeting vulnerable people and using them to traffic his drugs," said prosecutor Martin Ivory.

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That person was jailed for four years for his part in the operation.

But Payen de la Garanderie was caught street dealing on just two days - March 12 and 14 last year.

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"On 12 March the officer called the Jacob line and spoke to a man with a London accent," said Mr Ivory.

"The officer was picked up in a motor vehicle and driven around the corner. The driver was the defendant and there was a female in the back of the vehicle. During the very short journey she produced from her mouth a wrap of controlled drugs."

No evidence has been offered against the woman in the car that day.

"There was a positive finding by the Home Office she had been trafficked," added Mr Ivory.

The following day the undercover officer, known as 'Tommo', called the Jacob line again and received two wraps from Payen de la Garanderie.

"It does seem he is somebody who would appear to have been targeted up to a point, and his vulnerability preyed upon."

Payen de la Garanderie, 37, of Copenhagen Way, Norwich, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Since March last year he has served a prison term for a separate conviction.

And John Morgans, mitigating, said he had been a "success story" of rehabilitation.

"It has been a wake-up call for him," he said. "He has taken the opportunity to prove himself with both hands.

"He is clean of drugs and he is proud of the relationship he has with his son.

"He really is a success story. He knows how serious this is better than anybody in this court.

"He has been a drug addict and understands the evil of the supply."

Judge David Goodin sentenced Payen de la Garanderie to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

He must also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

"The clang of the prison gates can be a legitimate factor in deciding how the court should sentence you for earlier offences," he said. "I do not intend you serve this sentence immediately, or ever if you abide by the package I put forward.

"You know yourself that people who deal in Class A drugs deal in dependency and degradation, and feed along the way acquisitive crime such as theft, burglary, robbery, sexual crime and violent crime, as people fight to defend their lucrative territory."

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