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.”