Corby cannabis dealer Patrick McCusker avoids jail term after judge hears he has a family to support

He was caught with bagged-up cannabis
Cannabis dealer Patrick Anthony McCusker from Corby (Facebook) / File image (Getty)Cannabis dealer Patrick Anthony McCusker from Corby (Facebook) / File image (Getty)
Cannabis dealer Patrick Anthony McCusker from Corby (Facebook) / File image (Getty)

A Corby delivery driver with more than 50 previous convictions including two for selling cannabis has avoided a prison sentence.

Patrick Anthony McCusker appeared before Northampton Crown Court after admitting being a cannabis dealer.

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He has previously served time behind bars in 2008 and 2014 for similar offences.

But when he appeared before Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane on Friday (November 10) the 41-year-old managed to avoid going to jail after pleading with her that he had a family to support.

McCusker’s Pytchley Court flat was raided by police in 2021 as part of a wider Encrochat probe that uncovered conspiracies between Corby and Liverpool drug dealers.

He had been due to stand trial in September alongside several other Corby men who had been accused of supplying drugs across the town but pleaded guilty on the first day of trial. He admitted a single charge of possession of cannabis with intent to supply it on February 2021 which was accepted by the prosecution and did not have to stand trial on the conspiracy charge, which was dropped in his case.

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Prosecuting barrister Philip Vollans told the court: “When police visited the property on February 5, 2021, they located articles related to the supply of cannabis.

"They found nine bags of cannabis in the kitchen and each bag contained 26 grammes of cannabis.”

The drugs were estimated to be worth £2,340.

Joints, grinders, ziplock bags and deal bags were also found in the flat.

The court was told that McCusker had 25 convictions for 52 offences including dishonesty, violence, driving offences and drug dealing. They included a string of thefts from RS components. He was also jailed for 15 months in 2008 for possession with intent to supply cannabis and again in 2014.

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In mitigation, barrister Michael Fullerton said the offences were now more than two years old.

He said his client had had a recent appointment for a potentially serious condition and that his mother had died of cancer during the recent trial.

The court was told that McCusker works full time as a delivery driver earning £1,500 per month and was the sole earner in his house. He has two adult children and two younger children for whom he provides.

Mr Fullerton added: “He’s clean and hasn’t indulged in drugs for some time.

"It’s had a salutary effect on him.”

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He was given a thirteen month prison sentence, suspended for a year. He was also told to complete 15 rehabilitation requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

McCusker was caught as part of an Encrochat investigation into a Corby gang that had been buying and transporting drugs from Liverpool. Dubbed Operation Warrior, police originally charged 12 men with conspiracy to supply class A or B drugs. At a trial that took place last month, some of those men were found guilty and are due for sentence shortly.

They are: John Doyle, 45, of Murdoch Close; Corby and Liam Preston, 40, of Gunthorpe Place, Corby, will be sentenced today.

Being sentenced at a later date are Robert Beaton, 40, of Eastbrook, Corby; Anthony Barrett, 45, of Holkham Close, Corby; Scott Stirling of Rockingham Road, Caldecott; Stephan Lindner, 36, of Mackintosh Court, Corby; William Mathew, 48, of Sturton Walk, Corby; Liam Meenan, 38, of Southbrook, Corby and Abdelilah Hilali, 46, of North Circular Road, Brent.

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This is the third such conspiracy between Corby and Liverpool to go through the courts in the past few years. Alex McConnell was jailed back in 2021 after a court heard he’d used his recovery truck to travel north to pick up consignments of cocaine.

And earlier this year ten local men were in court to face jail after they admitted their respective parts in a major amphetamine conspiracy.

Next month, Darren Lafferty, 50, of York Road, Corby, Ted Shepherd, 38, of Babbage Crescent, along with Marcus Brown and James Davis, 32, both of High Road, Guyhirn, Wisbech are set to stand trial on drug charges linked to another Encrochat investigation.