An English drug dealer who was conned into paying £48,000 for a concrete block he believed to be a kilo of pure cocaine has been jailed for seven years.
Jordan Firth, 19, was arrested in a police swoop at a car park in Leeds as he was in the process of being scammed by three Liverpudlian criminals.
The teenager was handed the lengthy sentence after Leeds Crown Court court heard he was a “wannabe big man” who was trying to climb the drug supply ladder.
Firth and another man were seen by police meeting three men from Liverpool in the Pizza Hut car park at Birstall on July 4 last year.
They all left but met again an hour later in the Burger King car park on Leeds Ring Road at Beeston.
Richard Wright, prosecuting, said officers drove onto the car park and made arrests.
The car Firth was travelling in was searched and a bag containing almost £19,000 was found in the foot well of the car.
Another bag containing almost £29,000 was then found hidden in the engine.
Mr Wright said officers also discovered a package which gave all the appearance of being kilo of class A drugs.
He added: “It was a block designed to deceive.”
The court heard the block had been cleverly weighted and had two holes bored into the side, into which high purity cocaine had been placed.
The barrister said: “It was designed so the purchaser could carry out a test and be tricked.”
Phone records showed that Firth, of Wooler Avenue, Beeston, had been in touch with the Liverpool men and an intermediary in the days before the incident.
At the time of the offence Firth was bail after being found in possession of £620 worth of cocaine following a police car chase two months earlier.
While committing that offence he was serving a community sentence for supplying heroin and cocaine.
A builder in England shouted homophobic abuse at a man in Fishponds, and even made concrete model penises that were placed outside his house.
Michael Parkes, 34, pleaded guilty in absence to using threatening words and behaviour at Bristol Magistrates’ Court.
Bridget Sanger, defending, explained that Parkes could not attend court because at a separate hearing in November he had been thrown down the stairs by a co-defendant.
She said that Parkes, of Butlers Walk, St George, had broken his ankle and was housebound. Andrea Edwards, prosecuting, said the incident occurred on March 12.
Parkes and another builder were working on a house in Bourneville Road when a neighbour, Richard Ives, asked if he could take his washing inside before they started work. “Parkes began acting aggressively and called him ‘a queer’,” said Ms Edwards.
The court heard Parkes shouted and swore at Mr Ives, subjecting him to more homophobic verbal abuse.
“Mr Ives went inside and then left the house to pick up his partner,” she said. “When they got back there was a piece of chipboard outside his house with a drawing of a penis and a homophobic slur written on it. There were also two models of penises that had been made out of cement, placed on his wall.”
Ms Sanger, defending, said Parkes maintained he did not make the models but had pleaded guilty to get the case dealt with quickly.
She said he used to be a heavy drinker but had tried to change.
Magistrates fined Parkes £200 and ordered him to pay Mr Ives £200 compensation. He must also pay £200 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.