Drug dealer caught 'cuckooing' in Northampton spared jail because of long delay in prosecution case
Judge: 'He is very lucky because if I were sentencing him 18 months ago, it would have been prison'
A drug dealer caught 'cuckooing' in a vulnerable Northampton man's home was spared jail because of the long delay in prosecuting him today (Monday, August 2).
Mohamed Mohamed had crack cocaine and heroin worth £1,500 and £476 in cash when police arrived at the property in Sandringham Court in 2018.
The 26-year-old, of Morval Road, Lambeth, spent the day in custody after committing contempt of court by taking a picture of his name on the Northampton Crown Court noticeboard on Snapchat.
He was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for 21 months, having pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs on May 26.
His Honour Judge David Herbert QC said: "He is very lucky because were it not for the delay and if I were sentencing him 18 months ago, it would have been prison."
Joey Kwong, prosecuting, said police on foot patrol in Wycliffe Road on November 19, 2018, saw two men and a woman looking suspicious and doing an exchange with another man before walking in opposite directions.
Officers stopped the group and one of the men, who gave a false name, had £35 and a mobile phone on him before leading police to his home in Sandringham Court.
There they found Mohamed, who had the drugs and cash stashed in the lining of his hoodie pockets - there was also drug paraphernalia in the lounge.
'Cuckooing' is where drug dealers, often from cities, take over a vulnerable person's home in a smaller town to use as a base for drug-dealing.
As he was arrested, Mohamed told police: "You make your money your way and I make my money my way."
The defendant's court hearing was delayed because the Crown Prosecution Service closed the case as Northamptonshire Police had not charged him, before being told they were going to.
Then after arriving at court, Mohamed took a picture on Snapchat of his name on the noticeboard to send to his sister but never did and it was deleted.
Liam Muir, defending, said it was 'more out of stupidity than any nefarious intent' - but otherwise the defendant has kept himself out of trouble and been in employment since his arrest.
Judge Herbert told him: "You are a silly young man not just for committing these offences but also for what happened outside the courtroom."
As well as the suspended sentence, Mohamed was jailed for a day for contempt of court, which he effectively did today.
He was also given a five-month curfew between 7pm and 7am and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.