Vulnerable man was drugs gang carrier

Court report
Court report
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A vulnerable man was targeted by a London drugs gang to help distribute heroin and crack cocaine from his Bury St Edmunds home a court has heard.

Matthew Eves, 24, of Coppers Close was said by the sentencing judge at Ipswich Crown Court to be open to ‘exploitation and manipulation.’

Eves was jailed for 22 months on Wednesday by Judge Rupert Overbury after health professionals said this would offer him the best chance of getting his life back on track.

Eves distributed the drugs from his flat in return for supplies for his own use the court was told.

He was caught by Police after they observed him visiting well-known drug users over three days in December.

They searched his rented flat and found 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine which Eves admitted he had been delivering after being approached by members of an Afro-Carribean drugs gang.

Eves, who pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, said that when making deliveries he would hide the drugs in his mouth and only take them out before handing them over.

Prosector Hugh Vass said the case against the two other men arrested at his flat had been dropped because of lack of evidence.

Joanne Eley for Eves said: “He was clearly sought out by sophisticated criminals travelling down from London.

“He was targeted because he has vulnerability. He is a young man with serious mental health issues.”

Since his arrest Eves had not used any illegal substances the court heard.

Sentencing him Judge Overbury said he had read the 12 page psychiatric report which detailed his difficult early life and diagnosis of bipolar disorder which had been successfully managed while he was on remand in prison.

In his report Professor Bob Peckett said: “This may be one of the unusual cases where a sentence of imprisonment may provide a platform for rehabilitation.”

Prison had helped provide a supportive and structured environment for Eves and also ensured he received the correct medication.

Judge Overbury told Eves: “ You are a vulnerable person who is typical these days of the persons who are targeted by drug gangs to use their accommodation from where to supply drugs. You are just the sort of person who is open to exploitation and manipulation to acts as a drugs deliverer.”