Drug dealer from Wrexham refused to give iPhone PIN number to police

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Court Reporter

A convicted drug dealer serving a five year prison sentence has been sent back to court for failing to open his iPhone for the police.

Lewis Jay Richards, 30, of Maple Drive, Acrefair, pleaded not guilty in November to failing to provide a four digit pin for his iPhone which was seized on his arrest.

When asked about the phone at the time he gave no comment replies and he did not comply with a formal notice requiring the information which was served on him while he was in custody after sentence.

A trial was due to be held in March but he appeared at Mold Crown Court today via a live television link from Berwyn Prison in Wrexham and changed his plea to guilty.

Judge Niclas Parry said it was part of the same criminality for which he had already been sentenced.

The reality was he had been given a significant sentence, he had responded well to that sentence, and in the circumstances the three month prison sentence that would be imposed would be concurrent and would not therefore add to his sentence.

Barrister Mark Connor, defending, said police had not been able to gain access to his client’s mobile phone last August.

He had not co-operated during the investigation into the drugs offences, made no comment in interview and did not comply with the notice.

Many people who did not co-operate with the police were not further prosecuted, said Mr Connor, and Richards had done well in prison and was number one on his wing.

“He is the representative for his wing. He is a model prisoner,” Mr Connor said.

He added Richards was coming up for his category B assessment which would mean home and work leave.

“He is an example to other prisoners in many ways,” he said.

Any consecutive sentence would put that back and would affect his contact with his young son, said Mr Connor.

Barrister Frances Willmott, prosecuting, said that the defendant’s home was searched in March and in May of last year when drugs and cash were found.

Police found the iPhone in a shed where Richards had been immediately before they arrived.

He was asked for the PIN in interview but gave no comment.

The defendant pleaded guilty in July and received a five year prison sentence.

In August police served a notice on him requiring the disclosure on the PIN and he failed to do so by the deadline.

The court heard last summer how drugs and cash worth more than £60,000 were found during two raids by police at his home.

Richards, the occupier of the property in Maple Drive in Acrefair, was jailed for five years after police searched the building twice in two months.

On the first occasion, drugs valued at £6,730 were found along with £7,736 in cash, while the second search revealed drugs valued at more than £22,000 and £28,000 in cash.

Richards admitted possessing cannabis, cannabis resin, ecstasy and cocaine with intent to supply, and possessing the cash as criminal property.

Judge Niclas Parry told him at that hearing: “You became embroiled in what was a very large drugs operations. I have no doubt you were involved with others.

“The supply of drugs was so lucrative you still considered it worthwhile to continue even though you knew the police were onto you.”

Richards was said to have got involved in the supply of drugs through a combination of naivety and financial need.

 

 

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