A RECOVERING heroin addict who admitted drug dealing — with a criminal record described by a crown court judge as "shocking and appalling" — was spared immediate imprisonment.  

Anthony Wotton appeared for sentencing at the Isle of Wight Crown Court last Friday.

The 32-year-old admitted to offences in 2020 at an earlier hearing — being concerned in the supply of cannabis, between May 23 and June 6, and possession of methadone, on August 6.

Police executed a search warrant at Wotton's home in Church Road, Wootton, on June 5, 2020, when he and his parents were present.

Wotton told officers he was a heroin addict, after they discovered he had cannabis and unpresecribed morphine and Subutex, an opioid used to treat narcotic additions, together with drugs parafernalia, including an iphone which contained messages that proved he had supplied cannabis, said Olukem Fapohunda, prosecuting.

Wotton initially denied he had been concerned in the supply of drugs.

Before Wotton's phone was examined, police arrested him at Portsmouth's Wightlink ferry port on August 6, 2020.

Wotton was detained for a drugs search and showed officers a small medicine bottle, which contained methadone.

He went on to admit supplying cannabis, claiming only to make extra cash to fund his heroin addiction, said Miss Fapohunda.

Wotton had 47 convictions for 87 offences.

"Based on the messaging, he sold directly to users. It was his operation, with others involved in it, and an understanding of the scale of it," said Miss Fapohunda.

For Wotton, Barry Arnett said although his client had "an unenviable record", he had successfully completed an 18-month suspended sentence order, was coming off drugs and an "exhaustive" search of his financial records could not unearth evidence of him paying large amounts into his bank account.

"Having his home raided while his parents were present was the jolt to the system he needed to get his life on track," Mr Arnett said.

Judge David Melville, said: "You have a shocking record. It is appalling. However, you are fortunate to have a supportive partner, a job and a child.

"It seems you have, at last, woken up to the fact your drug taking has to stop."

Wotton received nine months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a £100 fine and £350 costs.