Hinckley man's luxury lifestyle paid for by drugs
A drug dealer who lived a luxury lifestyle financed by selling cocaine has been jailed for three years.
Ben Shardlow was caught with a stash of the class A drug when he was stopped in a car by police.
Officers went to his home in Palmer Road, Hinckley, to find a large number of electrical goods, designer clothing and £760 in cash.
They also found 700 Jamaican dollars, left over from a holiday to the Caribbean island the previous month.
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Shardlow (28) admitted supplying cocaine and possessing it with intent to supply, on June 1.
Alan Murphy, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that at 6.10pm that day, officers saw Shardlow parked in a lay-by in Hinckley Lane, Burbage.
A man who got out of the back of the car was found to have a single wrap of cocaine on him, which he had just bought from Shardlow.
Mr Murphy said Shardlow drove off, but was stopped by police in Wykin Road, and "indicated they would find drugs in the driver's side door".
There were 22 wraps of cocaine, each £40 street deals, totalling 14.68 grams, with a purity of between 25 to 27 per cent.
Mr Murphy said: "His mobile phone contained a number of drug-related text messages."
Judge Ebraham Mooncey said although Shardlow claimed he was dealing to fund his own cocaine use, he had tested negative for drugs.
Shardlow also told the police he committed the offences to pay off debts.
Paul Tubb, mitigating, said: "He's remorseful and appreciates the effect it's had on his family. He's keen to put this matter behind him and make positive changes."
Shardlow became depressed when his pregnant partner lost twins she was expecting, the court was told.
Mr Tubb said: "His escape from that was by starting to take drugs. He ended up spending his salary on the drug, by November and December last year."
Mr Tubb said: "From May 2012, he accepts to fund his own addiction and to enhance his quality of lifestyle he did engage in providing drugs on a commercial basis."
Sentencing, Judge Mooncey said Shardlow was caught with cocaine "ready to be supplied".
He said: "You made a lot of money for yourself."
Judge Mooncey made a confiscation order totalling £1,179.