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Dereham drug dealer jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:30 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 July 2010

Matthew Sparkes

The son of a former Dereham mayor has been jailed for more than four years after police drugs raids on the house he shared with his mother.

The son of a former Dereham mayor has been jailed for more than four years after police drugs raids on the house he shared with his mother.

Malcolm Sheath, a former pub landlord and the son of the former Dereham mayor Bill Sheath, was targeted by two police raids last year.

On April 23, officers raided the home he shares with his mother, in Hillcrest Avenue, Dereham, and found thousands of pounds in cash, more than five grammes of heroin and paraphernalia that he used to package and sell the drugs.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said that officers also found “dealer notes” listing months of purchases and sales that showed he made a profit of more than £10,000 from early March to the middle of April last year.

A mobile phone was also found, which contained messages that “demonstrated dealer activity”, said Mr Oliver.

At a second raid on December 21, officers found three grammes of heroin next to a set of scales.

Appearing in Norwich Crown Court yesterday , Mr Sheath pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a class-A drug with intent to supply.

Sheilagh Davies, in mitigation, said that Sheath's had been a “wasted life” and that he was a career criminal and drug user.

Mrs Davies told the court that Sheath's father died of cancer in 2005 and that his brother died of the same disease two years later.

Sheath's later cancer diagnosis had given him a “death wish” that led him further into a life of drugs, the court heard.

Mrs Davies told the court that Mr Sheath made only a modest living from his crimes and that he and his mother, whom he had lived with all his life, were “hardly living in the lap of luxury”.

Judge Paul Downes said that Mr Sheath was running a commercial and extensive operation, and that he had been a career criminal.

He sentenced Mr Sheath to four-and-a-half years in prison and ordered the seizure of the £12,315 in cash, heroin and equipment related to the sale of drugs that were found in the two raids.

“You know the dangers of class-A drugs - you were a user yourself,” said Judge Downes.

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