THE MAN jailed for three years after being found in possession of Derbyshire’s largest ever haul of amphetamines in Ilkeston was under duress from debtors to sell the drugs, according to his barrister.
Nicholas Barribal, 42, of no fixed abode, was already on licence – having been released from prison in 2008 for possession of amphetamines with intent to supply – but was being forced to sell the drugs by debtors who he owed £3,000 .
His barrister Errol Valentine said that Barribal was ‘relieved’ to be arrested.
“Having been released from prison, the people who had entrusted him with the amphetamine on his previous sentence sought him out for no other reason other than to put pressure on him to get back involved,” he said.
Barribal, previously of Northampton, and his now estranged wife Joanne fled to Berwick-upon-Tweed near the Scottish border to escape his debtors but had to return when they received death threats.
“The defendant was rather relieved to be arrested as it put an end to this nasty cycle he found himself in,” said Mr Valentine.
But Judge Andrew Hamilton said: “The fact is, he when comes out of prison, he gets involved in this enormous haul of drugs.”
He added: “It is a severe aggravating factor that he has committed this offence on licence.”
He was caught on June 18 last year when he and 21-year-old Danielle Jenks were held by security guards at Tesco in Ilkeston on suspicion of shoplifting.
When police officers arrived they searched the pair, who were carrying more than £1,000 in cash between them.
A search of Barribal’s Volvo car, uncovered a ‘substantive’ amount of ‘base’ amphetamine – capable of being cut further with other substances – as well as small amounts of cocaine and cannabis.
They also found a notepad containing the names of seven drug dealers with figures alongside them and syringes containing a liquid form of the drug.
Police then searched the flat they shared on Stamford Street at the bottom of town where they found a ‘production unit’ for the drug.
Amongst the haul were plastic tubs full of amphetamine as well as an electric stun gun, equipment to ‘mix’ the drug, more syringes and small amounts of cocaine and cannabis.
Investigating officer Det Con Steve Leader of Ilkeston CID said after the case: “It was the biggest seizure of amphetamine in the county.
“The premises were being used for the production of the drug and cutting it with other agents – food mixers, mixing bowls and food processors containing traces of the drug were recovered, as well as lots of Tupperware-style containers of various sizes in the freezer – all full of amphetamine.”
He said that the flat was ‘untidy’ and their discovery had added to drugs intelligence for police forces across the East Midlands.
He added: “It was a fantastic arrest.
“It will have had a big impact on crime, especially if the drugs were sold in the area as drugs are often linked to other criminal activity.
“It has taken a lot out of the market and will have caused massive disruption to the supply chain.”
Sentencing Barribal for possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply, the judge said: “This was quite clearly a drugs mixing and packaging operation organised by you.”
He added: “This is a very serious offence involving a very substantial quantity of drugs.”
Danielle Jenks, 21, now of Walsgrave, near Coventry, was described as ‘just a person in the premises’ rather than having any intimate knowledge of the drug operation.
She was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years, a two-year supervision order and 120 hours of unpaid work for allowing the premises to be used for the sale of drugs.
Insp Nick Daines at Ilkeston police station said: “I am extremely pleased that the courts have acknowledged the serious nature and impact that drug dealing has on communities by imposing a strong custodial sentence.
“This should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can get away with drug dealing in Ilkeston and get off lightly.”