‘I became dealer after inheriting drugs and cash,” Sheffield businessman tells court 

Ian Heald
Ian Heald

A Sheffield man found to be storing £15,000 of cocaine and £45,000 in cash at his business premises has been locked up for over four years. 

Ian Heald’s drug dealing business was exposed on February 24 last year, after police raided both his home address in Wharf Street, Victoria Quays and his business premises, Jic Refractory Products in Orgreave Crescent, Handsworth. 

They recovered 401.38 grams of cocaine, estimated to have a street value of between £15,720 and £21,760, as well as £45,430 in sterling and almost £2,000 in foreign currencies.

“In various locations within the two offices, police found a large tub containing 15.1kg of an unknown white powder...that the Crown say is a cutting agent. They found a black bumbag that contained a block of cocaine and several wraps of cocaine,” prosecutor, Timothy Savage, told Sheffield Crown Court. “They found a diary which clearly detailed initials, numbers and so on.”

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Heald, 50, pleaded guilty to one offence of possession with intent to supply cocaine and to two offences of acquiring criminal property at an earlier hearing. 

The court was told how Heald pleaded guilty to the charges on the basis he had come into possession of the drugs and cash after a drug dealer friend of his fell ill and asked him to store them for him temporarily, but subsequently died.

This basis of plea was accepted by the Crown. 

The court was told that Heald’s business was run legitimately, and was not a front for his drug-related activity.  

Nicholas Rhodes QC said in mitigation: “He found himself in possession of a large quantity of money and drugs and began to supply them to friends in return for payment.”

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Mr Rhodes told the court that after racking up a number of convictions in the early 2000s, Heald put his ‘wayward’ behaviour behind him, and started a successful business that now had a number of employees. 

At a hearing held earlier this year, Judge David Dixon took the decision to adjourn sentence in order to give Heald time to get his ‘business affairs in order’. 

Mr Rhodes said Heald had been able to make arrangements for his business to be run in his absence. 

“The application [to delay sentence] wasn’t made for you. It was made so those who you employ can continue in their employment,” said Judge Dixon. 

Judge Dixon sentenced Heald to 55 months in prison and said it was a ‘sad day’ when someone who had worked hard to turn their life around jeopardised the progress they had made with ‘stupid and idiotic decisions’. 

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