Cocaine dealer, 26, led a double life pretending to have “made it”.


Drug addict Joshua James Burtonwood was dragged into the criminal underworld to pay off his own debts, reports MEN.

A “vulnerable” cocaine dealer led a double life, pretending to have “made it” by displaying his model car and fake designer goods.

Officers found a “tick list” under his bed when they searched his house.

After Burtonwood was arrested, police then searched his bedroom at his home in Queensway, Leigh, and found a large box of cash, snatch bags of cocaine and other “cutting tools,” empty plastic bags, spoons, pieces of cards and digital scales.

However, when the officers searched the white Mercedes-Benz C-Class that the then 23-year-old was driving, they found snapshots of cocaine, a large amount of cash in the glove compartment, and a blue wash bag containing steroids and other bodybuilding products.

The 26-year-old was first stopped by police on suspicion of drunk driving when he drove from Wigan to Leigh on April 4, 2018.

The officers also found a list of debtors under Burtonwood’s bed, also known as the “tick list”.

Between the car and the house, the prosecutor’s attorney, Craig MacGregor, told the Bolton Crown Court that £3,560 worth of drugs had been seized, along with £8,475 in cash.

Judge Graeme Smith said: “Anyone who doubts the terrible effects of drugs on society need only spend this morning in this court to see them.

“It has had a terrible effect on your mental health and a harsh effect on your family, who have felt very threatened by what you have become involved in and no doubt by the fire in the car that followed your arrest.

“You were heavily involved because you were handing back and forth packages, dealing with debtor lists, and various items of equipment found at your address mean that you were involved in drug bagging.

“You follow a typical pattern – you take drugs yourself, you get into a state where you cannot pay them anymore, you run up debts, you are pressured to do something to pay back the debt, and as a result you get deeper into the drug trade.

“You have no criminal record and have had clear psychiatric problems that have got you into trouble and made you more vulnerable.

“You have led a double life; on the one hand, you gave the impression that you had made it, while on the other hand, you were exposed to threats, pressure and extreme psychiatric stress due to the position you were in.

“For a while you enjoyed this lifestyle. You bought, albeit fake, luxury goods, you drove a nice car, went out to socialize and try to fit in.

Prosecutor Craig MacGregor also told the court that Burtonwood’s car “burned out” after his arrest.

Mr Smith said: “The defendant’s vulnerability was exploited.

Burtonwood has no criminal record and was described by defense attorney Robert Smith as a “man of good character.


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