Dealer sold drugs to undercover police in Herefordshire

A DRUG addict who had his first taste of dealing when he sold heroin and crack cocaine to an undercover police officer has been jailed for more than five years.

Steven Biddle had been a long-term drug user when he was asked by an undercover police officer in Leominster if he knew where he could get some drugs.

Biddle, 35, then went off and returned with the drugs, 68 milligrammes of Class A drug diamorphine, known as heroin, and 144 milligrams of “crack” cocaine, to sell to the officer, prosecution barrister Rupert Jones told Worcester Crown Court.

Mr Jones said Biddle has sold his own drugs to the officers, charging him £40 – double the street value.

The sting by West Mercia Police on October 2, 2017 was part of a county lines crackdown where they target drug dealers, and just two days later Biddle said he would buy the officer drugs again.

But this time instead of returning, Biddle made off with the £40.

Biddle was not arrested after the 2017 incident, with no reason given in court, but he was caught dealing again in 2020.

On July 23 police received reports of a suspicious group on Bishops Meadow in Hereford and Mr Jones said Biddle was seen with two men who were known to be drug users.

Police found Biddle with £210 cash, a return train ticket from Leominster, cling film, scales and a mobile phone.

A message had been sent from the phone to 50 numbers as Biddle advertised “best in town” heroin which was “bigger and better in size”.

After he was arrested and taken to custody, he was asked by police if he had any drugs on him.

Biddle, who has 66 previous offences to his name, replied: “You must be off your head, mate.”

But he was then found to be concealing £70 worth of drugs by “plugging” them in his body.

Defence barrister Julia Needham told the court on February 23 that Biddle, who previously lived with his mother at Turnpike in Pembridge, had been a drug user since his early-20s and had been “homeless for an extensive period of time”.

The incident in Leominster in October 2017 was his first deal and at the time he was sleeping rough, so Mrs Needham said the offer at “double the going rate” for the drugs from the undercover officer was “virtually impossible to miss”.

The death of his son before 2017 had been “critical” in Biddle “spiralling into more significant and substantial drug use”, Mrs Needham said.

Mrs Needham said Biddle’s drug-dealing role saw him as “one of the many soldiers at the bottom of the pile”, and while he was making profit, it was “only being used to buy his own drugs”.

Biddle had been held in custody for nine months and had found it “extremely tough”, she said, but it had “been of some use” as he was off drugs for the first time since his early-20s.

Judge Martin Jackson sentenced Biddle to five years and three months in prison for the offences he pleaded guilty to, which included supplying and offering to supply heroine and crack cocaine, and stealing £40 from the undercover officer.

An order was also made for forfeiture and destruction of the drugs, phone and other paraphernalia.

Hereford Times