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"One-stop shop" drug van driver 'manipulated' into supply scheme

Tuesday 01 November 2022

"One-stop shop" drug van driver 'manipulated' into supply scheme

Tuesday 01 November 2022

A 26-year-old, who claimed he started using drugs to "self-medicate" his ADHD but ended up being manipulated into supplying cocaine and MDMA via a "one-stop shop" van, has been jailed.

Hayden James Dunning, who offered the class A drugs on nine different occasions during the spring and summer of 2021, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years' imprisonment by the Royal Court yesterday.

Van bust

He possessed both drugs with intent to supply them and faced an extra conviction for possession of cannabis, the Royal Court heard yesterday.

Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, said that police had stopped Dunning's van on Rue des Pres in St. Saviour at 01:15 on the morning of 4 November.

Royal Court

Pictured: Dunning was sentenced in the Royal Court yesterday.

There were two passengers in the back and a strong smell of cannabis. Drugs were found in the van with an estimated street value of up to £6,020. A police officer described the vehicle as "a mobile, one-stop shop for drugs", she said.

"No comment"

Dunning was arrested and interviewed by police and answered "no comment" to all questions.

He later pleaded guilty to drugs possession offences when he appeared at the Magistrate's Court in June. He was convicted yesterday of nine cases of offering to supply drugs, three of possession with intent to supply and one of possession of cannabis.

Taking the guilty plea into consideration, she suggested a sentence of six years in prison.

Request for "compassion"

However Advocate Julian Gollop, defending, told the court that Dunning's mother was terminally ill, and asked the court to spare him prison and instead impose a probation order "as an act of mercy and compassion" – so that he could spend time with her.

If Dunning was imprisoned, Advocate Gollop said: "The expectation is that his mother is not going to be here to see her son released from prison."

And he added that if a jail sentence were to be imposed it should be less five years.

"All those new friends simply disappeared"

Advocate Gollop explained that Dunning had begun taking drugs to "self-medicate his well-diagnosed ADHD" and had then been manipulated into supplying them.

He said: "This was not for financial gain. His motivations was to have the social interaction that drug-dealing gave him.

"As soon as he was arrested, all those new friends simply disappeared."

The court also heard that Dunning had no previous convictions for drugs offences, and Advocate Gollop said of his previous convictions: "These were minor offences. He has never served time in prison."

"This is not a career path that any young person should look to pursue"

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae, presiding, said: "These offences are so serious that in our judgment only a custodial sentence is warranted."

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Lynn Lang from the Drug Squad, said: “We are committed to keeping illegal drugs and those who deal in these drugs off our streets. 

"This is not a career path that any young person should look to pursue, Jersey has other legitimate careers and opportunities available.

"Going down this path will not end well for anyone.”

The Jurats sitting were Jerry Ramsden, Robert Christiansen, Steven Austin-Vautier, Andrew Cornish and Karen Le Cornu.

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