Drug Den Couple Sentenced

A Judge said that when police forced their way into a house in Brunel Drive, Biggleswade they found a 'drugs den' inside.

The house had a reinforced front door that withstood a police hand held battering ram and there were two large dogs at the property.

Police found different drugs in various places and cannabis plants growing in the loft. They also seized cash and two expensive watches, one worth over £4,000 said prosecutor David Stanton.

Today 36 year old Damian Paynton was jailed for two years at Luton Crown Court. He was convicted by a jury last month of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, possessing heroin and possessing criminal property. He had pleaded guilty to producing cannabis. The jury cleared him of possessing cocaine with intent to supply but he admitted possessing the Class A drug for his own use.

His partner, Donna Webster, 29 was given a 12 month community order after being convicted of producing cannabis. She admitted possessing a small quantity of heroin for her own use and was cleared of possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property. As part of her order she must attend drug rehabilitation sessions and pay £300 costs.

Judge John Bevan QC told her: "You house was brim full of drugs, and you have come close to a prison sentence."

The Judge told Paynton: "The house was a drug's den with drugs scattered about. There were also stolen goods littering the place which were the proceeds of you dealing in cannabis."

A hearing will be held later to confiscate assets that are the proceeds of crime.

Prosecutor Mr. Stanton told the jury that the house was raided by several police officers early on June 4 last year. He said the reinforced door prevented them gaining rapid entry and they eventually got in through a kitchen window.

A video was taken of all the rooms showing where items were found and that was shown to the jury. He said there was evidence of drugs being used on the premises and small quantities of drugs in various places. There were also 'crack' pipes, several mobile phones, money, watches, three sets of golf clubs, a quad bike, scales and dealer bags. There was a Samurai sword by the bed.

In the loft were 15 cannabis plants being grown under artificial lights and three further plants in pots in the garden and compost stored in the bathroom.

He said the cocaine that was found was worth about £230 and the heroin was worth about £17.

Matthew Kirk defending Paynton, who did not give evidence to the jury, said although he had a previous conviction for supplying heroin it dated back to 1999. "He is realistic and expects a custodial sentence today," said the barrister.

Paul Orton, defending Webster said she wanted the opportunity to get rid of her heroin habit.

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