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Drugs dealer caught selling in Cornmarket

Drugs dealer caught selling in Cornmarket

Ben Matthews

Ben Matthews

First published in News by

A DRUGS dealer was caught selling heroin and cocaine in Oxford’s main shopping street just weeks after being released from prison.

Ben Matthews was also cautioned for possessing heroin just three days before he was seen making a sale with the aid of a Big Issue seller in Cornmarket Street.

The 25-year-old was jailed for three years at Oxford Crown Court on Friday after admitting two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Cathy Olliver said Mat-thews was seen on CCTV acting suspiciously with two other men on February 28.

She said the customer, who was found with four wraps of cocaine, was cautioned.

The Big Issue seller who acted as the go-between has been identified but has yet to be dealt with.

Matthews was found with 24 wraps of cocaine, totalling 2.90 grams, and 1.94 grams of heroin split into 18 wraps.

The defendant has three previous convictions for eight offences and was released from jail for robbery in January.

Peter De Feu, defending, said his client, of no fixed address, was born and brought up in Oxford.

He said Matthews had learning difficulties and was “quite obviously of low intelligence”.

He said: “He does not claim to be a drug addict. His difficulty, if he has one, is not being able to fight his corner verbally or intellectually.”

Mr De Feu said Matthews came from a supportive family with a mother studying for a qualification at Oxford Brookes University and a brother in full-time employment.

He said his client had been attacked in Bullingdon Prison while awaiting sentence.

Judge Patrick Eccles told Matthews: “Your record is not a long one but it does consist of some serious offences.

“You are in real danger of spending really long periods of your life in prison if you continue in this way.”

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