Sheffield dealer given suspended sentence after telling court he only sold drugs so he could afford to ‘self-medicate’

A Sheffield drug dealer found to be in possession of hundreds of pounds of MDMA and Ketamine after police raided his parents house has walked away from court with a suspended sentence.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 5:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 5:33 pm
Rigby was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court held today
Rigby was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court held today

Judge Michael Slater told defendant, William Rigby, he felt able to step back from imposing an immediate custodial sentence due to the ‘exceptional’ circumstances surrounding his offending.

He sentenced Rigby, 23, to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today. 

Defending, Richard Adams, said Rigby suffers from a range of medical conditions including fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease, and at the time of his offending he was using illegal substances, such as ketamine, MDMA, cocaine and cannabis, to self-medicate.  

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“He found himself in a situation where he was unable to work and was reliant on benefits. As Your Honour will know, drugs of this nature cost considerable sums of money. It was a case where he was able to manage the consumption [of drugs] he required by dealing to the extent he did,” said Mr Adams.

Judge Slater told Rigby: “I’m prepared to accept you intended to self-medicate to alleviate the pain you were suffering from Crohn’s disease on a daily basis. After doing that, it was only a matter of time before you became more and more involved, and began dealing in the way that has been described.”  

The warrant that led to his offending being uncovered was executed at his parents home exactly two years ago today – on March 27, 2017. 

Prosecutor, Louise Gallagher, told the court: “Officers searched his bedroom and found 14.7grams of MDMA, and 13 tablets of MDMA that have a street value of £380. 

“They found 19.7 grams of ketamine worth £400, 15.85 grams of cannabis worth £160 and a very small amount of cocaine. 

“They also found a quantity of small plastic bags, a set of electronic scales and a sum of money in the region of £700.”

Rigby’s mobile phone was also seized by police. 

Ms Gallagher said its contents revealed Rigby, Pot House Lane, Stocksbridge had been dealing ketamine and MDMA since July 2016, and an analyst concluded he had been acting as a ‘mid-level’ dealer. 

Rigby pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a controlled drug of Class A, namely MDMA, with intent to supply; possessing a controlled drug of Class B, namely ketamine, and possessing cocaine and cannabis.