A THREE-STRIKE dealer who sold cocaine with a child in the back of his Ford Focus has been jailed for more than five-and-a-half years.
Rowell Bramble already had two drug dealing convictions on his record when, in July 2017, he was caught selling cocaine by officers.
Swindon Crown Court heard police had tried to pull over the 31-year-old’s Ford near Tadpole Lane but he made off.
During the pursuit officers saw a package – later found to be 28g of cocaine worth up to £2,800 on the street – being thrown from the passenger window.
The car crashed and, when police arrived on the scene, they found a young boy in a child’s seat in the back of the vehicle.
Bramble and his passenger, Luke Robinson, were arrested.
Inside the car were indications he was dealing drugs – evidence of burner phones, £253 in cash and a receipt from Home Bargains for disposable gloves.
Bramble refused to hand over his pin number. When forensics officers managed to get into the phone almost a year later they found texts pointing to his involvement in supplying cannabis over two weeks in June and July 2017.
Prosecutor Tessa Hingston said the Crown Prosecution Service gave the go-ahead in March 2019 for the man to be charged. A letter was sent summoning him to court in June but he failed to show up. It wasn’t until six months later that he appeared before magistrates.
Defending, Emma Handslip said her client had previously been addicted to drugs and had been selling substances in order to pay off a debt and make money.
He had since managed to beat his addiction, was in work and helped his partner with their children.
She said: “This is somebody who has made significant good progress and is now in a position where he is going to be sentenced to a significant period in custody.”
He had convictions in 2007 and 2013 for dealing class A drugs, meaning he fell foul of rules requiring judges to pass a sentence of seven years behind bars against those convicted of dealing hard drugs three times.
Bramble, 31, of Downton Road, Penhill, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Knocking a fifth off the mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, Judge Jason Taylor QC sentenced the dealer to almost five years and eight months behind bars.
Robinson was given an 18-month community order in February after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.