‘Shifty’ man had £70k heroin stash in a carrier bag

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A MAN’S shifty behaviour in the street led police to a heroin haul worth up to £70,000.

Officers on duty in Chester Road, Sunderland, noticed Christopher Ridsdale trying to cover his face and hide a plastic bag from view, when he realised they were near to him.

The policemen tried to search the 22-year-old, but he ran away from them and discarded 486g of heroin which was inside the carrier.

Ridsdale was arrested later trying to hide behind the Grindon Mill pub.

Police officers found a further 218g of the class A drug when they searched his home address.

Prosecutor Jim Hope told Newcastle Crown Court: “The crown’s case is the total value of the drugs is between £35,200 and £70,400.” Ridsdale, of Houghton Street, Millfield, admitted possessing the drugs with intent to supply.

Mr Recorder Miller sentenced him to three years and nine months behind bars.

The judge told him: “Drugs cause havoc with the lives of increasing numbers of people in our country.

“Class A drugs in particular can easily end up killing people or destroying their lives to a point from which they can never recover.”

He added: “The courts have to take a very serious view of anyone who is involved in offences involving the supply of heroin.”

The court heard the police were not out looking for Ridsdale that day, and would not have stopped him were it not for his own behaviour.

Mr Hope added: “He attempted, the prosecution would say, to hide his face with a black cap he was wearing.

“The officers stopped and noticed he was trying to hide a carrier bag with his foot.”

The court heard Ridsdale had agreed to store the drugs, and deliver them on demand, after he started falling deep into debt from a dealer he had borrowed money from for drink.

Defending Ridsdale, Lewis Kerr said in mitigation: “He felt under some extreme pressure.”

Mr Kerr said Ridsdale would not be so naïve in future.