Took his child in pram with him to drugs deal

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A father of two who took one of his children on a drugs deal, and even lied about being a dealer, wept in court as he was sentenced for two years today. (Friday).

Judge Patricia Smyth told 34-year-old Brian Hogarth, who has relevant previous convictions, the fact he had one of children with him in a pram, was “utterly appalling”.

Hogarth, from Magheralave Meadows in Lisburn, wept in the dock of Belfast Crown Court throughout the short sentencing hearing.

The defendant admitted charges of possessing both Cocaine and Cannabis and offering, and supplying and also being concerned in the supply of Cannabis in December 2015.

Judge Smyth said while it was accepted Hogarth was entitled to “susbstantial credit” for his guilty pleas, she was “satisfied there was no basis for a non-custodial sentence in this case”.

Addressing Hogarth she added that this would be “hard for your family, but that is the consequence of your criminality”.

Earlier the judge told Hogarth that “this was a commercial operation for profit and there is no doubt about that”.

She said this was despite his claims that he was involved only in drug-dealing between three or four friends, as text messages on his mobile “revealed the true extent of drug dealing”.

It was also clear, she added, that when caught Hogarth had lied when he attempted to say that the drugs had just been sold to him.

In mitigation, said Judge Smyth, were his guilty pleas and that he was a father of two, with his wife expecting their third child.

In addition while his wife worked, and he looked after the children, he was also helping out with the care of his mother.

Hogarth was told he will serve a year in jail.

Following his release, he will be subject to a 12 month license which could see him returned to prison if he re-offends.