Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Jury in Barrow drug case considers verdict

THE jury in the trial of a man accused of being part of a drugs plot was resuming its deliberations today.

Jason Benzie denies being linked in any way to a conspiracy to deal heroin and cocaine in the town.

He told the court in evidence that he felt “angry and bewildered” at being arrested by police and interviewed.

His partner, Vicky Bryan, is one of a number of people to have admitted their part in what took place.

The jury at Preston Crown Court considered its verdict on Benzie for several hours yesterday before being sent home.

The 37-year-old denies charges of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Police carried out a raid at the home of Benzie and Bryan in Vulcan Road, Barrow, in July last year.

Benzie accepted in evidence that he sometimes used heroin, getting the drug from suppliers in town.

He didn’t think that his partner knew about that.

The court had heard that a Merseyside man played a leading role in what took place.

At the time of the police raid, his partner was found in possession of a plastic Kinder egg shell which contained heroin and cocaine wraps worth a total of £700.

Benzie explained he had been a heroin user, but stayed away from the drug for a while about eight years ago.

He started taking the drug again after his father died in April last year. It had been the case that his £400 weekly wage as an electrician paid for his habit, which cost £30 to £40 a week.

He carried on using the drug when he lost his job and was still taking heroin around the time of the police raid on his semi-detached home last year.

However, he was unaware if his partner was taking drugs.

The defendant also said he knew nothing about a series of text conversations on a particular mobile phone seized by police – and that he did not make any of 29 calls to a particular phone number, over a certain period of days last year.

Benzie said his Bryan had started using his phone, having run out of credit on her own.

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