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Maidstone: Dealer Joe Phillips targetted the Social Festival at the Kent Showground

A drug dealer went to a music festival with thousands of pounds of ecstasy but left after becoming paranoid, a court heard.

Joe Phillips targeted the Social Festival at the Kent Showground at Detling starring DJ Carl Cox, musician Goldie and producer Roni Size in September last year.

He smuggled in the drugs, also known as MDMA, by wrapping them in packaging around his thighs, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Joe Phillips. Picture Kent Police

Joe Phillips. Picture: Kent Police

The 25-year-old, of Birnam Square, Maidstone, later told police he decided to leave after it “all went wrong” and he became paranoid.

He went to a pub in the town and was arrested after door staff became suspicious when he would not allow them to search his bag.

Prosecutor Daniel Stephenson said drugs found in his possession and at his home were worth up to almost £4,000.

Phillips told police: “I don’t know why I did it. I was just there to earn a quick bit of money and it all went wrong.”

Phillips admitted possessing MDMA and half an ounce of cocaine and was jailed for two years and four months.

Alan Balneaves, defending, said Phillips was given a large number of pills in lieu of money owed to him. His father, who was a heroin addict, had died in June this year.

“It is a great shame he has descended into such a mess with drugs,” added Mr Balneaves.

Detective Constable Mark Newman said: "Phillips attended a music festival with the sole intention of selling drugs to anyone willing to pay the right price, with little or no thought given to the potential risk or threat of harm to those he targeted.

"Ecstasy is a dangerous and unpredictable Class A drug and the courts have rightly passed a custodial sentence. As he serves his time behind bars, hopefully Phillips will ask himself if it was really worth it."

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