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Oxford drug user hid heroin in ceiling light fitting
11:00am Saturday 5th May 2012 in Oxford
A FATHER-OF-TWO from Oxford turned to drugs and hid them in his ceiling after losing his job installing satellite television dishes, a court heard.
O’Neil Yearde started abusing heroin and crack cocaine after he was made redundant from his job, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.
When police officers searched Yearde’s home they discovered a haul of drugs worth more than £800 hidden inside a light fitting in the ceiling.
During the search officers also found small amounts of cannabis and other controlled Class C drugs, so-called legal highs.
The 40-year-old was initially charged with possession of drugs with intent to supply but admitted two charges of possession of controlled drugs, which the prosecution accepted.
Paul Harrison, prosecuting, said: “In terms of heroin there were five grams found in the ceiling. It had a purity of 14 per cent.
“The crack cocaine was 7.21 grams in 22 separate packages. It was 65 per cent pure and worth £440 if sold as individual deals. The heroin was worth £400 if it was sold.”
The amount of cannabis found totalled just 150mg and had a minimal value, as did the other drugs, added Mr Harrison.
Police also uncovered £2,390 in cash, although Yearde maintained this was money he had received from selling his car.
The court was told that Yearde had previous drug convictions, including receiving a conditional discharge for possession of class A drugs.
Jeannie Mackie, defending, said most of the drugs were for Yearde’s personal use.
But she told the court he had intended to supply some of the crack cocaine to his friends and acquaintances.
She added that Yearde still smoked cannabis but had not used anything stronger for the past three months.
“He was a heavy drug user, he had been made redundant from his job as a Sky engineer in 2010,” she said.
“That had an adverse effect on him in terms of anxiety and depression and as a result of that his drug use increased.
“He accepts he would receive money but he bought the drugs in the way that they were found, in individual wraps, and quite a lot of those drugs were for his own consumption.
“He was not making a living from it.”
Yearde, originally from Jamaica, was expected to be sentenced yesterday but the hearing was adjourned so that an assessment of his suitability for admission to a drug rehabilitation programme could be carried out.
Yearde, who has two teenage daughters, was released on bail until Friday, May 25, on the condition that he continues to live at Hockmore Tower, in Pound Way, Cowley.