Stamford musician Matthew Hunter jailed for dealing cocaine

A drug dealer from Stamford has been jailed after police found cocaine worth almost half a million pounds in his car.

Musician Matthew Hunter was travelling south along the A1 towards his home when officers swooped, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “This was a significant amount of cocaine with a high percentage of purity.

“Two of the bags had 81 per cent purity and the other one was 96 per cent purity. This was close to the original source of the drugs.

“He was stopped on the A1 returning from the north with these packages in his car. They were hidden inside a music speaker within his boot.”

Following the arrest officers subsequently searched lock-up garages in Mountbatten Avenue and Sandringham Close in Stamford.

Mr Howes said: “There were significant finds inside these premises.”

He told the court that evidence was found in Mountbatten Road which suggested the garage had been used to “cut” the cocaine to dilute its purity. A safe was also found.

At Sandringham Close a container of a cutting agent was discovered inside a car.

Mr Howes said: “This man was not at the top of the tree but he played a significant role in this. His role was that of both a courier and a trusted lieutenant. He must have been aware that the activity in which he was engaging would produce a lot of money.”

He said that 3kg of cocaine was found inside the car in which Hunter was stopped which could have sold on the streets for as much as £480,000.

At an earlier hearing on October 25, Hunter, 31, of Selwyn Road, Stamford, admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply on October 25. Now, he has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Judge Sean Morris described Hunter as a “ordinarily a decent man” but told him: “I am quite satisfied that you fell into the wrong company. If you choose to swim with sharks you are going to get bitten.”

Angus Bunyan, defending, said: “He wasn’t the mastermind. He was a worker.

“He had a career in the music business and has ability at playing the guitar professionally and as a teacher.

“It was through his involvement with the music business that he became a recreational user of drugs.

“He then allowed himself through stupidity and naivety to act to further the supply of drugs.

“The whole experience for him has been a salutary one. The conviction alone for him is punishment.”