A man who claimed he had more than £500-worth of crack cocaine for his own use now faces a seven year prison sentence.

Deano Mcloud told police officers after he was caught hiding out in an Abingdon park in September 2020 that the 26 drug wraps he had scattered as he fled for officers were all for his own use.

But jurors at Oxford Crown Court rejected his tale, taking a few hours to find him guilty of possession with intent to supply and possession of £567-worth of cash made from drug dealing.

READ MORE: Case opened in Abingdon park drug dealing trial

After they returned their verdicts, prosecutor Oliver Wellings told the 12-member panel that Mcloud, 36, was a so-called ‘third striker’.

He had convictions for drug supply or holding drugs for others in 2007 and 2014.

The effect of this third conviction was significant. The law requires Judge Ian Pringle QC, the trial judge and the one who will sentence Mcloud later today, to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment unless it would be unjust to do so.

Judge Pringle remanded him in custody, refusing a request by Mcloud’s barrister Lyall Thompson to release him on bail for a final night with his family. “I can’t risk it,” the judge said.

Mcloud, of Shelley Close, Abingdon, and a co-defendant, Mason Thomas, who has already pleaded guilty to his involvement in dealing drugs, will be sentenced at 11.15am this morning.

Earlier this week, Mr Wellings told the jury that off-duty policeman PC Jonathan Kelly had spotted Mcloud and Thomas acting suspiciously near a children’s play area in Boxhill Park, Abingdon, on September 1, 2020.

Having seen what he believed was a drug deal, the officer called 999 and reported the men.

READ MORE: Cannabis farmer caught in Marston raid

When back-up arrived, Mcloud and Thomas scattered. The latter was swiftly caught but Mcloud was on his heels for longer.

The jury was told that Mcloud shrugged off his jacket as he ran and jettisoned what later turned out to be 26 wraps of crack cocaine estimated to be worth more than £500 on the street.

He was found in a wooded area of the park after a police dog was brought in to help with the search. In his wallet was £567 in cash, which prosecutors said was the proceeds of his dealing.

Interviewed by officers, the defendant claimed the drugs were for his own use and the money was the proceeds of a car sale.

Mr Wellings told the jury: “It is the prosecution that brings the case and therefore the prosecution that bears the burden of proving it.”

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