A KENDAL drug dealer has been jailed for nearly three years despite a plea that his partner and four children would suffer if he were sent to prison.

Gareth Burton, 34, turned to selling drugs as a way of raising money to fund his own habit because he needed all the £450 a week he earned as a roofer to care for his family, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

He was arrested last summer after police raided his home in Garburn Road, Kendal, and found evidence that he had been selling cannabis and cocaine to his friends.

They found more than £1,000-worth of cocaine and nearly £300-worth of cannabis, along with a list of the people he had been supplying, prosecutor Becky McGregor said.

And on his mobile phone there were numerous text messages – including one which asked: “Can you fetch me a good bag up?” – which showed how deeply he was involved, she said.

The court heard that after his arrest Burton told the police he had been using cannabis for 20 years, and cocaine for ten.


He normally kept the drugs in a safe so his children could not get hold of them, he said.

He said he had a list of 33 people to whom he sold cannabis, but only three or four who bought cocaine from him.

Burton, whose 32 previous convictions included four for drugs offences, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine, a class A drug, and cannabis, class B – both with intent to supply them.

In mitigation defence barrister Chris Evans said Burton was “devastated” by the idea of being sent to prison.

“He knows that his loss of liberty will be most heartfelt by his partner and children,” he said. “He is full of concern and remorse because he knows what he has done to them because of his stupidity.”

He said he had used the drugs in the past to help him with depression, but had now sought other help for his “various mental health issues”.

Burton was sent to prison for 35 months.

The £1,165 police found at his house was confiscated.

Passing sentence Judge Barbara Forrester told him: “It is clear that you knew what you were letting yourself in for.”