A man who used cannabis to help his ailing mental health ended up dealing large quantities of the drug after his habit got out of control. Jake Fry, who was first exposed to cannabis at the age of 10, was arrested by police earlier this year when officers received a tip off that the 29-year-old was selling drugs.
And when they raided his home in Ebbw Vale detectives found a kilogram of cannabis, cannabis grinders, and a phone used to sell the Class B drug. After officers examined Fry’s mobile they found evidence that he had been dealing as much as seven kilos of cannabis.
Fry appeared for sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday. The court was told he was full of remorse and regret but Judge Michael Fitton QC told the defendant: “You were perfectly able to understand what you were doing.”
Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told the court how officers obtained a warrant to search Fry’s home in July 2022 and they soon found some cannabis. They also called a suspicious phone number they had been “monitoring” and heard Fry’s mobile ringing in his room. That phone contained messages showing that he had been supplying cannabis to others since early 2021. Detectives also discovered around £1,065 worth of “criminal property” at the address.
In mitigation defence counsel James Campbell said his client was “full of remorse and regret”. He told the court that father-of-two Fry was first “exposed to cannabis” at the age of 10 and struggled with drug addiction between the ages of 18 and 21. However the defendant got clean after seeing two close friends die because of drugs.
He added Fry had only started selling drugs to fund a cannabis habit that he developed while grappling with mental ill health exacerbated by the death of his father-in-law and his grandfather’s struggle with dementia. Mr Campbell said it was a “relief” to the defendant when he was arrested.
He said: “[Fry] had found himself caught up in a vicious cycle and couldn’t find a way out of it. When he was arrested he told police he wanted to come clean on everything he was involved with so that when he was sentenced he could start again.”
After pleading guilty to three charges – being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possession of a kilogram of cannabis with intention to supply, and possession of criminal property – Fry, of Rowan Tree Close, Ebbw Vale, was given an 18-month jail sentence.
Judge Fitton added: “The harm that your offending would have had on the people who know you, love you, and care for you… is part and parcel of an informed risk you were taking. The offending I am dealing with is far too serious to be dealt with by anything but an immediate prison sentence.” As the hearing ended the judge thanked the defendant’s family for doing what they could “to save him from himself.”