Sheffield drug dealer caught red-handed after taxi driver called cops on him

A Sheffield drug dealer was caught red-handed when his fearful taxi driver phoned the police after noticing he was carrying a knife, a court heard.

Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 5:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 5:18 pm
Johnathan Bryant, 29, was jailed for three years, nine months for a string of drugs offences during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday, July 31)

Johnathan Bryant's offending was brought to light on June 3 this year, after the driver of the taxi he was in phoned the police when he noticed Bryant had a knife on him, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

The taxi was on Handsworth Road, Handsworth when police arrived, and officers began searching Bryant, aged 29, at the scene.

"They found a knife, and in the defendant's wellington boot they found a quantity of drugs. They found drugs on his person, a quantity of drugs in a bag the driver said Bryant had put in the boot when he got in the taxi. In a small grey bag they found more drugs, and during a strip search they found drugs in a Kinder Egg he had in his underwear," prosecutor, Louise Gallagher, told the court.

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In total, Bryant was found to be in possession of 8 grams of MDMA; 1.44 grams of cocaine; 14 paper doses of LSD; 10.63 grams of ketamine hydrochloride; 23.1 grams of skunk cannabis and 32 grams of what is described as 'fragmented' cannabis.

Ms Gallagher added: "The defendant, when interviewed, made full admissions. He told the police he had a drugs debt to somebody of £1,700 and had been selling drugs in order to make up that debt.

"He said the knife in his possession was for his own protection, because people were looking for him. He said he had previously had his head kicked in and was scared for himself and his family."

Bryant, of Fleury Road, Gleadless pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply, two counts of possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply and one count of having an article with a blade or point.

Defending, Richard Thyne, said Bryant should be given the maximum amount of credit for his early guilty plea, and referred Judge Paul Watson QC to what had been said about Bryant's 'sorry background' in his pre-sentence report.

Judge Paul Watson sentenced Bryant to three years, nine months in prison and ordered for forfeiture and destruction of the knife and drugs confiscated from Bryant.

He said: "You have previous convictions for possession with intent to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis, for which you received a sentence of 28 months' imprisonment. You also have previous convictions for possession of a bladed article."