July 5, 2022 8.00 pm This story is over 23 months old

Judge apologises as drug dealer sentencing delayed again by barrister protests

It has been postponed for the second time in as many months

A judge has issued an apology to a Boston man who admitted drug dealing after his sentence hearing was postponed for a second time because of strike action by crown court barristers.

Stacey Housham, 42, has been warned to expect jail after he pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine and heroin to other users.

Housham was due to be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on June 9, but the hearing could not go-ahead because of protest action by defence barristers.

His case was postponed until July 5, however Judge John Pini QC was again forced to adjourn the sentence hearing after being told Housham’s barrister was unavailable because of strike action.

Housham, who attended the hearing by video-link, will now be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on July 27.

Judge Pini told Housham: “These are serious matters. I have read the papers and the pre-sentence report in detail.

“Quite plainly your barrister needs to be here before you can be sentenced.

“I am sorry about this. It is something completely out of my control.”

Housham pleaded guilty to four charges concerning Class A drugs when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court in April.

He was due to be sentenced after the preparation of a report by the Probation Service.

A number of other cases at Lincoln Crown Court have been impacted by the nationwide strike action by the Criminal Bar Association. (CBA)

Eight out of 10 barristers voted for the walkouts amid concerns the Government will not improve a proposed increase in criminal Legal Aid.

Housham, who was of no fixed address at the time of his offences, and is formerly of Collingwood Crescent, Boston, admitted possessing both cocaine and heroin with intent to supply others on February 10, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin to others between December 6, 2019, and February 11, 2020.

At a previous hearing the court heard Housham is now clean of drugs and has turned his life around.