TWO drug dealers have been sentenced to a combined period of nearly seven years for selling on the streets of Basingstoke.

Khario Duffus, 25 and Hilton Bangura, 23 both of no fixed abode, were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Friday, 31 August, after both pleaded guilty to being in possession with the intention to sell class A drugs, namely heroin and crack cocaine.

The court heard how police stopped a Ford Focus in Churchill Way on June 25 this year, with Duffus driving and Bangura as a passenger.

After carrying out a drug search, officers found the pair to be in possession of 88 wraps of class A drugs, with a value of £1,650.

They also had multiple mobile phones, digital weighing scales and what is believed to be a list of drug users, who the pair were planning to sell to.

While officers conducted their search, Bangura also admitted to having a knife concealed in his shoe, which he said was for defence and 3.8 grams of cannabis concealed between his buttocks.

Prosecuting, Berenice Mulvanny told the court both were selling the drugs to settle their own drug debts and they had been sent to Basingstoke.

Miss Mulvanny said: “The pair came to Basingstoke to deal these drugs to street users.

The information found on the phones matched that of the names on the paper list, which contained the names of well-known drug users in the area.”

The court heard how the pair both had a track record in crime. Bangura had nine previous convictions to his name including robbery, assault and possession of class A drugs.

Duffus had 13 previous convictions including affray, robbery and assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Defending Bangura, Karen Dempsey told the court the 23-year-old had undergone a psychiatric assessment which showed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after fleeing Liberia.

Miss Dempsey said: “He was very compliant with the police explaining that the knife was for protection.

“He’s a young man who suffers from quite serious anxiety and has admitted to being addicted to cannabis.

“He says he was sent to Basingstoke to buy the drugs, and was unaware of the class A drugs in the car.”

The court also heard how Bangura was sleeping rough in Basingstoke, but was trying to turn his life around by taking rehabilitation courses.

Defending Duffus, Peter Pride described him as a ‘lost soul’. Mr Pride said: “This 25-year-old man who has had a difficult start to life and has struggled.

“His mother was a class A drug user, he was expelled from school when he was 10 and at 15 he ran away from home and his life has been in and out of prison ever since.

“This is a sad young man who still has a lot of his life in front of him.”

In sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC said it was clear the pair were transient drug dealers, who travelled from London to Basingstoke to sell a high volume of class A drugs.

Duffus was sentenced to 40 months in jail for two counts of possessing class A drugs with the intention to supply, and Bangura also received a 40 month sentence for two counts of being in possession of a class A drug with the intention to supply, one count of being in possession of a bladed object and one count of breaching a suspended sentence.