Cocaine dealer fails in sentence appeal

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A DRUG dealer who acted as receptionist for a Sheffield crack house has failed to persuade top judges his six-year jail term was too long.

Michael Martin ‘manned the phones’ for the crack cocaine business which operated out of a house on Leppings Lane, Hillsborough, Sheffield, in the summer of 2010.

The 25-year-old - who lived at the house - was jailed for six years at Sheffield Crown Court last August after pleading guilty to supplying crack cocaine.

However, at London’s Criminal Appeal Court his lawyers argued he was treated too harshly by the sentencing judge.

The court heard drugs were sold in the property and on the street.

The commercial operation was run using a network of mobile phones, as well as a phone box on Leppings Lane.

The men also distributed business cards with one of their phone numbers printed on it.

Lawyers for Martin claimed he received too high a sentence, telling the judges he was a crack user himself and ‘his role was limited to answering the phone to take orders from other users’.

But Mr Justice Gary Hickinbottom, delivering the judgment at the Appeal Court, rejected the submission the sentence should be cutand said the six year sentence was fair.

He said: “We do not accept he was an addict driven to crime to fuel his need for illegal drugs.

“It cannot be said six years is manifestly excessive.”