Judge goes easy on reformed teen drug dealer

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Crown Court Swindon Crown Court

A TEENAGER who was caught peddling heroin in Swindon has been spared jail after a judge heard how he has turned his life around.

Amine Bouzegzi was supplying hard drugs to fund his own addiction when he was caught in a police raid in December 2012.

But in the year since his arrest the 19-year-old has managed to get clean and has started a promising career working for Specsavers opticians in Bournemouth.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court Bouzegzi was arrested when police stormed a house on Royston Road, Park South, on Friday 14 December 2012.

She said when the teenager was searched he was found to have 19 wraps of heroin, each worth £20, and one used crack cocaine wrap which still had a small amount in it.

Bouzegzi, now of Wilson Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply and simple possession of cocaine.

Mark Ruffell, defending, said his client had been staying with addicts in Swindon and fell into using drugs and started to sell them to fund his habit. Before his arrest he said he had no previous convictions and had been waiting for 13 months to learn his fate.

Mr Ruffell said he was now working doing marketing for Specsavers organising a link up with the university.

He said he helped promote the optician when AFC Bournemouth took on Real Madrid and was also involved in charity work with Help for Heroes.

Passing sentence Judge Douglas Field said: “In normal circumstances you would be going straight to prison but there are features in your case which will allow me to suspend it.

“You have managed to turn your life around and put this episode of drug use and drug dealing behind you. In view of these circumstances I don't think it is in the public interest to sent you to prison.”

He imposed a two-year sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered him to do 250 hours of unpaid work for the community.

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