[A] KENDAL Calling music festival drugs peddler has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how Lee Clayton was snared as he tried to deal class A substances to an undercover security officer at an annual event popular with teens and young people, near Penrith, on July 29 last year.
Clayton, 46, was carrying a “man bag” containing an illegal supply “kit” comprising cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and class B ketamine, along with “substantial cash reserves”.
The total potential street value of drugs found in his possession – and hidden with thousands of pounds inside a camper van on the site – was more than £6,000. Police also recovered a phone from the vehicle which showed 499 incoming calls on that day alone.
When arrested by police at the festival site, Clayton stated: “I’m here to have a good time.”
He admitted possessing all four drugs with intent to supply them, and was jailed by Recorder Kevin Grice this morning (THURS).
The judge heard remorseful Clayton, a father with responsibilities to several children, had confessed to making a “catastrophic mistake” at the festival which he would regret “for the rest of my life”.
But the judge told Clayton, of Devonshire Drive, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington: “Only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”
Recorder Grice added: “You made, as you acknowledge, a terrible mistake last July.”
A spokesperson for the South Cumbria Drug Squad said: “Today’s sentencing is a timely reminder to those who believe they can deal drugs at festivals and other events in Cumbria.
“At Kendal Calling we worked closely with event organisers and security teams to ensure the safety of festival-goers. We will continue to work closely in order to prevent drug supply at such festivals and we will robustly deal with those who commit offences.
“As part of preventative work, amnesty bins are clearly located at the entrance to the festival site where those carrying illegal drugs are encouraged to place these substances before entering. As well as the entrance bins there are clearly marked amnesty areas within the site and dogs that specialise in drug-scanning are used throughout the event. Clayton clearly ignored this and is now facing the consequences.
“We are pleased that Clayton will now serve time for his offences.”