A drug dealer is back behind bars after he was spotted driving two vehicles he hadn’t declared to the police.
Stephen Brown was jailed for more than six years in 2018 for his part in a gang that was conspiring to supply Northumberland and Newcastle with class A drugs. The 39-year-old was released in October last year and made subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order, which prohibited him from a number of things, including possessing or having control of a vehicle without notifying the police.
However, on August 3 this year, Brown was spotted behind the wheels of a BMW and a Land Rover in Ashington, a court was told. He was also driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance.
Brown, of Surrey Close, in Ashington, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court via video link from prison to plead guilty to two counts of failing to comply with a serious crime prevention order and two each of driving without insurance and otherwise than in accordance with a licence. He had denied the offences at a previous hearing but decided to change his plea.
Prosecutor Claire Armstrong said Brown was first seen getting into the driver’s seat of a Land Rover on August 3. She added: “He reversed it out of his driveway and drove it to the bottom of the street. At 15.56, he got back in the same Land Rover and drove it back on to his drive.
“Between 16.05 and 16.06, the defendant drives a BMW, which is registered to the defendant’s wife. It was taken off the drive to the bottom of the street and it drove out the street. The defendant accepts driving both cars and having no insurance or licence.”
The court heard that Brown had a lengthy record, including for the drugs offences and for numerous driving offences.
Graham Crouth, defending, said the two vehicles belonged to Brown’s partner and his friend, who lived down the street from him. Mr Crouth continued: “The police do know about those vehicles as they were seized and then returned to their owners in the past. Mr Brown was released in October 2021. He was put on that order, which requires him to do lots of things and he’s complied all the way through until these offences.”
Brown was jailed for 39 weeks and was given a six-month driving ban. Magistrates also ordered that the BMW and the Land Rover be forfeited but Mr Crouth told the court he would be appealing that decision.