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Man from Tenbury Wells jailed for drug dealing
12:00pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
THE manager of a successful family business has been jailed for dealing in drugs and wasting police time with a false story about kidnap and torture.
Benjamin Johnson claimed he had been abducted by two Albanians and held in Birmingham for several days when he was ill-treated.
But he was in fact held for only a day in a different location until the truth was uncovered in a police operation, said Rhydian James, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.
Johnson, aged 28, of Mayview, Newnham Bridge, Tenbury Wells, was jailed for 41 months after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis and wasting police time.
His sentence will be reduced by 94 days for the time he has spent on electronic curfew.
Johnson began his dealing with a regular supply to friends, said Mr James, but he became involved with individuals who persuaded him to deal in much larger quantities.
At one stage, people he was involved with became upset and briefly abducted him. This had led to wasteful use of police time, said Mr James.
He claimed he had been threatened, but various aspects of his story were found to be untrue.
Johnson was said to have made limited financial gain from his dealing and it was estimated that 150 hours of police time had been wasted on his inaccurate account.
Sabhia Pathan, for Johnson, said he had fallen in with undesirable individuals.
While his original allegation of abduction was true, he had also told a number of lies.
She submitted references from family and workmates. She described Johnson as very affluent and from a privileged background.
His father had been a successful businessman and had started a family business so that his son could take part.
He was the installations manager and the firm now had 16 employees and a turnover of £450,000 a year.
Recorder Denis Desmond said that Johnson had been dealing in small amounts for seven months but in January this year took a delivery of two kilos of cannabis which was worth a lot of money.
It appeared it had been stolen and this was when the Albanians came into the picture and led to the waste of police resources.
The Recorder said he had been impressed by the references which showed that Johnson had been a hard worker and good manager.
There was no doubt he came from a respectable and loving family but he should be ashamed of the false story of his abduction.