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Jail for drug dealer who was trying to raise cash for IVF.

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk

A DRUG dealer who claimed he started peddling heroin to pay for his girlfriend's IVF treatment was caught after crashing into a taxi.

Steven Lowes and his partner were desperate to have a child and had been unable to get IVF on the NHS, a court heard.

In a "foolish" attempt to raise money for the treatment, Lowes started dealing heroin, his barrister told Newcastle Crown Court.

But his plans fell apart when he crashed into the side of a taxi and police found drugs and thousands of pounds in cash in his car.

Despite being arrested and bailed for that, just five days later he was stopped by police and again found to be in possession of heroin and large amounts of cash.

Now the 33-year-old, of Keir Hardie Street, High-field, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, has been locked up for three years and four months after pleading guilty to two offences of possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, told the court: "What led him to commit these offences was a desperation to be able to have a child with his partner, who he has extremely strong feelings for.

"They had exhausted all avenues through the NHS to see if they would be eligible for IVF.

"It was a cause of distress to them both that they couldn't have a child.

"He then took an extremely foolish decision to become involved in selling heroin.

"It is something he bitterly regrets and asks me to pass on his remorse."

The court heard Lowes had a crash with a taxi around 4.30pm on August 23 last year.

The cabbie, who recognised Lowes, called the police and Lowes ran off, leaving his partner in the car.

When police arrived they found drugs and PS3,630 cash in the car and a search of his home netted more heroin and money.

After being arrested, Lowes was bailed but went straight back to dealing.

On August 28, he was driving a Renault car when he was pulled over by police and found to have a number of wraps of heroin and a further PS1,507.

He told the officer, who he said he went to school with: "You may as well lock me up now, I've got loads of heroin."

The court heard Lowes was caught with a total of 421.5g, worth at least PS10,800, plus PS6,330 in cash.

Sentencing Lowes, Recorder Ben Nolan QC told him: "On the second occasion you were already on bail in respect of the first offence.

"That seems to me to indicate you are someone who set out to deal in drugs simply to make money and you were not deterred by being arrested on the first occaion.

"You are someone who has had a problem with drugs in the past but to some extent you have tackled that problem.

"Whether that makes it better or worse for you to be cynically involved in selling drugs, I'm not quite sure."

Miss Hedworth said that Lowes was a former heroin addict but was taking a substitute drug at the time.

She added: "He is settled down with his partner who has a plethora of medical problems.

"He has been supportive to her and her two young children. He is an extremely caring individual."

Prosecutors will try to get back Lowes' ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the court heard.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2016
Words:589
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