Drug dealer’s cash stash handed to Luton-based homeless charity

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Cash found on a drug dealer in Leighton Buzzard is to be donated to a charity that helps homeless people.

Judge Steven Evans on Tuesday January 12 2021, ordered that £2,350 seized from Dunstable man Lee Pennington should be handed over to Luton-based Noah.

The money was found by the police when they searched Pennington, now 31, on February 3 2019, Luton Crown Court heard.

Officers were called to Duncombe Drive in Leighton Buzzard after receiving reports that there were people sitting in a Vauxhall Zafira smoking cannabis.

Prosecutor Douglas Page said Pennington got out of the front passenger seat and told the officers he had just smoked a joint.

He was searched and the money was found in his pockets. A small amount of cocaine was in his left jacket sleeve pocket and in a Cadbury’s Heroes tub in the foot-well were three small bags of cannabis.

When his phone was examined, the police found evidence of dealing in Class A and B drugs. “There were mail shots to people, evidence of direct dealing, supplying on credit and evidence of him threatening those who had credit,” said Mr Page.

Pennington of Greenfield Close, Dunstable appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis and possession of cocaine between December 2018 and February 2019.

Defending, Minal Raj said: “He was arrested in February 2019 and released under investigation. The decision to charge was not made until August 2020. No explanation for the delay has been given. We are now two years down the line.”

Ms Raj said at the time of the offending Pennington’s life had “spiralled out of control” after the death of his new born child. A second child was born in April 2019 and he has reversed his life and is working as a scaffolder.

Judge Evans told him: ”You were dealing in Class A drugs and Class B too over a period of time.

“You weren’t the leader, you were a trusted lieutenant. You had over £2,000 on your person.

“You were caught red-handed and could have been dealt with in a matter of months.

“This is no understanding why it takes two years to bring someone to court. It is not your fault. In that time you have got yourself a job.”

The judge made a two year Community Order with conditions that he carries out 20 rehabilitation days and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

He warned Pennington that if he breaches the order he will send him to prison.

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