St Albans carer’s bedroom cocaine “industry”

A MAN caring for his grandmother who has dementia created “a criminal cottage industry” in cocaine dealing from his bedroom at her St Albans home.

Jermaine Ferdinand was jailed for three years after being recruited at the job centre, St Albans crown court heard.

Prosecutor Colin Banham said police raided the house in Dellfields in the city on July 26 this year. Ferdinand answered the door to officers who asked if there were any drugs in the house. He replied: “There might be something upstairs.”

In his bedroom there were 65 sets of lottery tickets folded in wraps containing the drug and more cocaine was found in a bowl. In total it weighed 52.62 grams.

There were also scales, other lottery tickets and �913 cash, said Mr Banham.

When questioned by police Ferdinand said he had paid �850 for an ounce of cocaine and was selling the lottery tickets of the drug for �40. He claimed he had needed money after losing his job.

Ferdinand, 26, of Wright Close, Wheathampstead, appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply when he appeared before magistrates at an earlier hearing.

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Andel Singh, defending, said Ferdinand had been supplying to a close circle of friends and asked for full credit for his early guilty plea. He cared for his 76-year-old grandmother who has dementia.

Mr Singh said: “He is a young man who did well at school and found employment but lost his job. When new faces have to take state benefits there are people out there who go to the job centre to find those who might be interested in taking the horrendous risk of supplying drugs which is what he did.” He said Ferdinand’s mother was “devastated.”

Recorder Samantha Leigh said: “You told the police you had lost your job and saw it as a way to make money. You created a criminal cottage industry”

She ordered the confiscation of the �913 along with the drugs and scales.