Judge keeps promise not to jail Derby drug dealer

A judge has kept her promise not to jail a Derby drug dealer after he showed he could stay out of trouble. In September last year Judge Nirmal Shant QC jailed Connor McKay but deferred sentence on his older brother Callum to test if he could remain offence-free.

On that occasion she told the Sinfin father-of-three that if he could do so she would suspend his prison term. This week, the 33-year-old returned to Derby Crown Court where his defence barrister told the hearing his client had been true to his word.

Darron Whitehead said: “His job is secure, he’s on a full-time contract and he is engaging well not just at work but at home. I specifically asked him if he has been arrested (since September) and he said ‘no’. His reply was ‘I have learnt my lesson’.”

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After hearing the news, Judge Shant handed the defendant, of Coldstream Walk, a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.

She said: “As you know on the last occasion what I said to you was I am persuaded to give you the opportunity. I accepted you played a limited role (in the dealing), you have stayed in a job, kept out of trouble and you provide significant support for your partner in bringing up the young children.”

In September, Connor McKay was jailed for three years and two months after he was caught with heroin and crack cocaine while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle in a car park in Derby. His older brother Callum McKay was the driver of that Volkswagen Golf and was allowing his sibling to use his mobile phone to send out mass-marketing messages to users.

Their sentencing hearing was told that after they were both interviewed for that offence, Callum McKay stopped offending and got a job. But Connor McKay, 27, was caught a second time just three months later peddling his drugs in Derby.

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said police came across both brothers in the car in a car park in Gerard Street at around 1.30pm on March 3, 2021.

She said a search uncovered around £500 of two drugs and analysis of a mobile phone belonging to Callum McKay revealed the messages – sent to users – made it clear drugs were available for sale.

Miss Slater said: “At around 12.20pm on June 9, Connor McKay was seen out and was stopped by the police. Two mobile phones were taken from him, along with £266.27 in cash, and on it were more mass-marketing messages.”

Both brothers pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs.

Mitigating on that occasion, Matthew Cullen, for Callum McKay, said his client has three young children who he sees very frequently, taking them to football and other extra-curricular activities.

He said: “He had no influence on those above him, he did what he was asked. He was using class A and class B drugs discreetly.”