A WHITCHURCH man who received free drugs in return for allowing use his property for drug deals has been given a community order.

Ian Roberts, 46, of Queensway, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for two counts of concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

The court was told by the prosecution that it was in effect a County Lines operation, with Roberts being 'cuckooed'. Another man is scheduled to go on trial separately in relation to that.

It was also heard that the other man was at the property when it was raised in 2021 and the pair were found with around £1,000 in cash, four mobile phones, handwritten notes and signs of drug use.

The other man had also allegedly concealed packages inside himself that had a street value of around £7,000 and had thousands of messages on the phones for his 'line' which also included Roberts.

Roberts admitted that he had allowed the property to be used in return for drugs as he had substantial Class A habit, but Judge Peter Barrie told the prosecution that he was "as much victim as he was perpetrator".

The defence said Roberts was willing to accept any and all help.

Judge Barrie also accepted that Roberts had attempted to go 'cold turkey' with isolation from drugs and praised him for never turning to robbery to fund his habit.

He added: "I’ve read a very interesting pre-sentence report about you and it tells me is that in response of this coming to light, you’ve had insight into the harm Class A drugs were doing.

"You got clean and I can see you’ve not been using them for the last five months – a major life achievement to be proud of.

"There’s no record that you’ve ever turned to offending to fund your habit and it’s to your credit you never went that way to sustain your heroin addiction.

"The probation service is right in saying that the best way of protecting the public and you for this offending is to make an order that gives you continued support to continue your rehabilitation, help in employment and a possible change in area."

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a minimum of 40 days of rehab activity to provide him with support.