Man jailed for four years after drug stash is found in Towcester back street

Police image of Paul Stellato, sentenced to four years and six months for possession of drugs with intent to supply in March 2012.

Police image of Paul Stellato, sentenced to four years and six months for possession of drugs with intent to supply in March 2012.

0
Have your say

A MAN from Towcester has been jailed for more than four years for possessing a large stash of drugs, including cocaine, found under a stone in a quiet back street of Towcester.

Paul Stellato, of Hicks Court, denied possessing an assortment of class A, B and C drugs with intent to supply, but was found guilty by a jury at Northampton Crown Court in December last year.

In January 2011, police officers discovered two bags of drugs under a stone off a path in Towcester, having been alerted by a dog walker who regularly noticed Stellato visiting a spot close to Reffield Close. The bags contained £2,000 of ketamine, 10 grammes of cocaine and 25 grammes of mephadrone – enough for 31 deals – as well as other drugs. The stash was linked to Stellato by his fingerprints and DNA and CCTV from a nearby property showed his regular visits.

Stellato denied possessing the drugs with intent to supply, but was convicted by a jury on December 23 last year, when the case was adjourned for a probation report.

Last week, Judge Michael Fowler sentenced 40-year-old Stellato at Derby Crown Court to four years and six months, minus 159 days spent on remand. He was found not guilty of one count of possession of class B drugs with intent to supply, but was found guilty of a separate charge of possession of class B drugs.

He was also acquitted of being involved in the production of class B drugs. He was previously jailed in 1998 for arson and perverting the course of justice, but was released early following a landmark Court of Appeal ruling.

Stellato, argued he was entitled to unconditional release after serving three quarters of his sentence without the threat of a return to jail.

After his appeal was upheld in 2006 he was awarded substantial damages for being unlawfully held for a year after his sentence should have ended.

But lawyers argued the ruling would release some of the “most dangerous people in the prison system.”