University student hiding in duvet caught with nearly £2k of crack-cocaine and heroin

A university student who was caught with crack-cocaine and heroin worth over £1,800 was jailed for 27 months on Wednesday.

Deon Hartley-De-Roche, 25, was visiting his girlfriend who attended the University of Lincoln when he was spotted getting out of a taxi near the Reindeer pub on the High Street.

Lincoln Crown Court heard officers decided to search Hartley-De-Roche after he went down an alleyway next to the pub shortly after midnight on May 11 last year.

Hartley-De-Roche told officers his correct name but falsely claimed he was from Loughborough and gave a wrong date of birth, the court was told.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said officers found a golf ball sized package wrapped in clingfilm in the waistband of his trousers but Hartley-De-Roche ran away after taking off his hooded top.

More police were called to the scene and Hartley-De-Roche was found covered by a duvet, hiding under a desk in his girlfriend’s flat behind the Reindeer pub.

Mr Howes said officers carried out a further search and seized a number of drugs with a total street value of £1,870. Over £800 in cash was also recovered and a set of scales which contained brown residue.

Analysis of the drugs revealed there were nearly 12 grams of crack-cocaine valued at £1,200 and just under five grams of heroin worth £580.

A small amount of cannabis and eight further wraps of heroin worth £80 were also recovered.

Analysis of a phone seized from Hartley-De-Roche identified three possible drugs customers and one supplier, Mr Howes added.

Mr Howes said: “The total value of the drugs if sold in street deals was £1,870 but we do accept some would have been for his own use.”

Hartley-De-Roche, of Stavely Road, Wolverhampton, admitted two charges of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and one charge of possessing cannabis on May 11, 2018.

Leanne Summers, mitigating, told the court Hartley-De-Roche was a totally different person to the man arrested by police 18 months ago.

The court heard Hartley-De-Roche had enrolled at university in Wolverhampton and had successfully completed his first year.

Miss Summers said Hartley-De-Roche was also working part time in a warehouse around his studies and living with his girlfriend, who is now undertaking a Masters Degree at Wolverhampton University.

“At the time of the offence he was visiting his girlfriend who was then studying at the University of Lincoln,” Miss Summers said.

“He was struggling financially, his grandmother had been diagnosed with dementia and he had lost a friend in London.

“He began using drugs and borrowed £2,000 to pay back his debt.

“The evidence shows this was dealing to a very small number of people over just a couple of days.”

Passing sentence, Recorder Charles Falk said he accepted Hartley-De-Roche was a different man to the one arrested in 2018.

But the Recorder added: “You were clearly preparing drugs for sale.”

This comes just a day after a drug dealer, who was caught by police selling cocaine near the University of Lincoln during Freshers’ Week, was jailed.