A YORK drug dealer with no heartbeat has been jailed for four years after a judge rejected claims that a prison sentence would breach his human rights.

Jonathan Matthew Hibbs, 40, had hoped that his medical condition would, for the second time, persuade a judge to let him keep his liberty. He has been involved in the drug supply trade for ten years.

In June 2011, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox, said Hibbs should have received a five-year sentence for possessing heroin worth up to £50,000 with intent to supply it.

But after hearing that Hibbs depended on a heart machine implant to stay alive, he passed a 12-month suspended prison sentence. Hibbs told him he was a “changed man” since suffering a heart attack while on remand in Holme House Prison in February 2011 and receiving life-saving surgery.

But while he was still subject to the suspended sentence, police twice caught him red-handed in the York area with large stashes of heroin and cocaine together worth £28,000, and found two stolen student MacBooks in his house with hours of them being stolen, York Crown Court heard.

“I think it would be naive in the extreme to believe you to have severed the links you have to criminals,”

the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Hibbs ans he jailed him for three years, plus activating the suspended sentence, making a total of four years.

Defence barrister Nicholas Johnson, argued that sending Hibbs to prison could breach his human rights because prison staff would not be able to provide him with the right medical treatment and he could suffer physically.

But the judge, after personally checking with prison staff about the medical services available, said he was satisfied imprisonment would not infringe his human rights.

By law, Hibbs should have received a minimum sentence of seven years, because it was the third time he had been before the courts for being involved in supplying Class A drugs. But “as an act of mercy” Judge Ashurst reduced it because of Hibbs’ medical condition.

Hibbs, of Northfields, Strensall, pleaded guilty to two offences of possessing heroin with intent to supply it to others, one of possessing cocaine with intent to supply to others and two of handling stolen goods.

York Crown Court heard when found in Hibbs’ house shortly after it was stolen in a burglary, all the owner’s work on one of the laptops had been wiped and a password-protected user account in Hibbs’ name set up on it.

Hibbs was given a sentence of three years and nine months in 2006 for possessing 123 nine-ounce bars of cannabis. In May 2008, he was jailed for five years for possessing £14,000 of heroin with intent to supply.