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Faulty car light led to drugs find

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A defective brake light on a businessman's car led to him being caught with more than £11,000 worth of cocaine.

Depesh Ravalia (24) was stopped in St George's Way, Leicester, because of the faulty light.

Officers were suspicious and looked inside the vehicle, and found a small amount of the class C drug BZP in a hat.

The discovery, on December 29, resulted in Ravalia's home in Huggett Close, Rushey Mead, Leicester, being searched.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, told a jury at Leicester Crown Court that three wraps, with a total of 68 grams of cocaine, were found in his wardrobe.

Ravalia, who runs a hairdressing business in the city, denied possession with intent to supply, but was convicted by a jury yesterday after a trial.

He was remanded into custody and told to expect a substantial prison sentence.

Ravalia claimed he bought the cocaine for £60 as a "treat" to have over Christmas. He got it from a dealer on a street.

He said he was not addicted to the drug and it was for his personal use.

Mr Murphy said the cocaine was "high grade" – mostly about 75 per cent pure.

The average purity of street deals were said to be between 10 and 15 per cent.

Detective Constable Iain Hollis said the 68 grams were worth £3,750 wholesale but could be cut to achieve a street value of £11,920.

He said the amount Ravalia was found with was "beyond realistic personal use".

Ravalia admitted possessing the BZP in his car and possessing the cocaine for his own use.

After being convicted unanimously of intending to supply the cocaine, Judge Simon Hammond said: "There's only one person in this court who knows what the real purpose was and he's chosen not to tell us."

He told the defendant: "Your defence of buying 68 grams of high-grade cocaine for a mere £60 with a street value of over £11,000 was ridiculous.

"It's serious because it involved a significant amount and could have been cut to make more than 200 deals.

"You told the jury you weren't addicted to cocaine so that means you were in it for money.

"You can expect a significant custodial sentence because of the damage cocaine does to people's lives."

The case was adjourned until November 19, for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.


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