Kettering drug dealer carried knife to defend himself from ‘machete wielding’ man, he claimed

Craig Shields has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for intent to supply heroin and cocaine and carrying a knife.

Craig Shields has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for intent to supply heroin and cocaine and carrying a knife.

A dealer who was caught after he was spotted “waving around” a lock knife in a Kettering street with £100 worth of class A drugs in his shoes has been jailed.

On August 15 last year, 20-year-old drug addict Craig Shields was arrested by police in Alexander Street, Kettering, after he was reported brandishing the blade by a member of the public.

When officers searched him, he was found carrying £100 worth of cocaine and heroin in individual “wraps” in his socks.

A later raid of his house turned up a further 175 individually packaged drug parcels worth £2,320, which prosecutors accept he was holding for someone else higher up the supply chain.

At Northampton Crown Court on Thursday Shields was sentenced to 34 months in prison for counts of intending to supply cocaine and heroin as well as possessing a bladed weapon in public.

He claimed he carried the lock knife in self defence because the person he was due to meet at a party on the night of August 15 was known to “wield a machete.”

Sentencing him, judge Timothy Smith, said: “The carrying of knives is a serious offence and the reason for that is only too obvious.

“People that carry them expose themselves and others to serious and potentially fatal injuries.

“The use of them has come only too common.”

Prosecuting, Jeremy Janes said Shields, of Printers Yard, Kettering, answered no comment under police interview, even though in the van on the way to the custody suite in Corby the defendant commented that he was just “doing it for the money.”

The person that called 999 on August 15, described the young man as “waving around” the lock knife in Alexander Street, the court heard.

Defending for him Dominic Woolard, said Shields was emotionally immature and had suffered since the passing his mother.

He had begun to use crack cocaine himself and was recruited as a street dealer through friends of a family member due to his “vulnerability,” said Mr Woolard.