Teenage drug dealer spotted throwing away bag of cocaine and heroin in Northampton by 'eagle-eyed' police officer

Askew-Atherton was told off by the judge for his 'cheeky' attitude after being sentenced

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 3:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:16 pm

A teenage drug dealer was given a suspended detention sentence after being seen throwing away a bag of cocaine and heroin in Northampton by an 'eagle-eyed' police officer.

Devonte Askew-Atherton was spotted getting rid of the class A drugs in 2019 and officers found he had cannabis on him when he was arrested.

The 18-year-old, of Camborne Close, Northampton, has since stopped associating with those from his criminal lifestyle and was working two jobs, Northampton Crown Court heard on Wednesday (July 14).

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Northampton Crown Court

He was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution suspended for two years after pleading guilty to two counts of intent to supply class A drugs and one count of possessing cannabis.

His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told him: "In your case there's a reason to suppose that you will continue with what's called rehabilitation, or living without committing offences.

"So the sentence I'm going to pass, as this is so serious only a period of custody is justified, will be suspended."

Luc Chignell, prosecuting, said police were looking for Askew-Atherton in the town centre on July 18, when he was seen in Market Square.

'One of the more eagle-eyed officers' saw the defendant had disposing of a small bag at a mobile phone store when he noticed the police.

Inside were individually wrapped class A drugs, 10 crack cocaine and six heroin, which had been organised for street dealing, Mr Chignell told the court.

Askew-Atherton was arrested and officers found four small bags of cannabis on him.

Paraphernalia associated with drug-dealing was discovered by police in the teenager's bedroom and messages about supplying cannabis was uncovered on his mobile phone.

William Heyward, defending, said Askew-Atherton was acting under the direction of others and had no influence on the people above him in the drug-dealing gang.

The defendant is now living in supported accommodation and works part-time in a warehouse and for his father in the construction business.

"He is no longer associated with anyone from his previous criminal lifestyle - he has moved on and worked with offending services," he said.

As well as the suspended sentence, Judge Mayo also ordered Askew-Atherton to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The judge was annoyed by the defendant's 'cheeky' attitude when giving sentence though, saying he did not 'seem focused' on what he was saying.

"You are showing an immense lack of maturity," Judge Mayo added, as well as remarking that he was lucky he was not like that before he passed judgement.