Sheldon Archer: Drug dealer 'incited' mob to attack Sheffield police officers who caught him red-handed
Archer ‘incited’ the violence perpetrated by other individuals, one of whom kicked a police officer in the face.
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Prosecuting barrister, James Baird, said Sheldon Archer’s latest set of offending arose out of an incident on September 29, 2023, after attracting the attention of a pair of police officers who were patrolling in Sheffield city centre.
"Their attention was drawn to the defendant who was standing in a large group of people who appeared to be drug users," Mr Baird said during a November 15, 2023 sentencing hearing.
Mr Baird said the two officers approached Archer and informed him he was going to be searched, and as that search was taking place, Archer said: 'F*** this' and 'tried to run off'.
"He had to be restrained, and as that was happening a clear plastic package containing around 20 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin dropped from the defendant," Mr Baird told the court, adding that Archer subsequently shouted the group he had been with to 'get the police off' him.
27-year-old Archer proceeded to assault the two officers, striking one to the hand and chest, and digging his nails into the hand of the other, and 'breaking the skin' as he did so, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Two additional police officers were dispatched to the scene, and the court was told that following Archer’s calls for help to 'get the police off' him, the drug users he had been selling to - as well as a woman who was not with the group - inflicted more violence to the officers present.
Judge Graham Reeds KC said that, in his view, Archer, of Fox Street, Burngreave, Sheffield had 'incited' the violence perpetrated by other individuals, one of whom kicked a police officer in the face.
"If a person being apprehended by the police shouts a general call for others around to get the police off him, then he’s responsible for what they do. Technically, he’s an accessory," Judge Reeds said.
Mr Baird said that in addition to the Class A drugs, Archer was also found to be in possession of £420 in cash, and 'further drugs' were recovered during a subsequent search of Archer’s room at a probation hostel.
"His iPhone was downloaded and there were a number of text messages on that phone, indicating he was involved with the supply of drugs," Mr Baird said.
Archer has an extensive criminal record of some previous 35 offences, including other drug matters, and is in the process of serving a 'lengthy' sentence of 72 months, Mr Baird told the court.
He explained that Archer had initially been released from that sentence in January 2023, but after being recalled following these offences, he is now due to remain in prison until March 2026.
Following the September 2023 incident, Archer was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, charges of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, namely heroin and crack cocaine, and two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker at an earlier hearing.
Defending, Vanessa Saxton said it was 'never' Archer’s 'intention' for others to become involved in the incident.
Ms Saxton continued: "He was released from a lengthy spell in custody. Following his conviction from this court, he spent 10 months trying to access assistance from the probation service. He found there to be little assistance or community support. Unfortunately, it dragged him back to a lifestyle he did not wish to return to, but he did."
Judge Reeds jailed Archer for 61 months, and told him: "On this occasion, when you were confronted, you were violent towards the police officers…you incited members of the public and the group to whom you had been dealing drugs when police tried to arrest you…one of the police officers was kicked in the face. You are responsible for that, because you incited people to assist you to get the police off you."
Judge Reeds told Archer that he did not know whether the sentence he has passed will take him past the recall period ending in March 2026, but if it does, he will be required to serve the remainder of this latest sentence behind bars.
Judge Reeds also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs seized, and for Archer to pay a victim surcharge of £225.