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Loan shark pressure blamed for Coney Hill man's cocaine stash

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 18, 2014

Gloucester Crown Court

Debt and pressure from a loan shark led to a Coney Hill man stashing thousands of pounds worth of cocaine at his parents’ home, a court heard.

Thomas Townsley’s prison identification card and his probation officer’s name were found inside a cool box next to the drugs, scales and plastic bags.

But the 24-year-old, of Tuffley Avenue, said he was merely acting as a custodian of the drugs in a bid to pay off his debts and was not supplying.

Prosecutor Julian Kesner argued he played a larger role and told the court two dealer’s lists, with names and amounts of cash, were found in the room of his parents’ home, which he often stayed in.

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Townsley claimed it was not his writing, but his dad Gerry’s.

Mr Kesner said: “The crown does not accept he was a custodian of the drugs on behalf of others.

“He says he owed money to a loan shark and the crown doesn’t accept it.

“Two of the lists were found in the bedroom that he accepted he was sleeping in.

“He was much more than a reluctant custodian than he puts forward in his plea.”

Townsley said he owed the man money before he went into prison for burglary and attempted burglary.

He told the court that after he was released and moved back into his parent’s home he was unable to pay back the cash.

He maintained he was not drug dealing and was merely holding the drugs.

Townsley said he had no idea how his prison ID card and probation officer’s name on a piece of paper got into the cool box.

Defending, Joe Maloney said that since leaving prison Townsley had led an industrious life.

He said: “This is a man who in his younger days made mistakes – huge mistakes – but he has come a long way.

“His family have had time to reflect on how precious life is and he has tried to make his life count and turn a corner.”

Judge William Hart deferred sentencing for six months and said it would give Townsley an opportunity to stay out of trouble.

“I don’t know quite what to make of you,” he told Townsley. “You have a deplorable record.

“I am putting you to the test. I am undecided about you, but the next six months will show what you are made of.

“Have no doubt, lenient though I have been today, that will not be extended if you go back to your old ways.”

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