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Ilfracombe drug dealer Christopher Walker jailed for breaching suspended sentence

By This is NorthDevon  |  Posted: April 09, 2013

Exeter Crown Court

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A drug dealer has been jailed after he blew his last chance of freedom by failing to turn up for rehabilitation.

Christopher Walker tried to blame his failure to work with probation officers on the death of his mother, even though he had missed a series of meetings before she passed away.

He was caught red-handed taking a £20 deal from a friend’s flat in Ilfracombe to a customer in a car waiting outside when police raided the operation and found drugs hidden in a secret compartment in the kitchen.

The 45-year-old kitchen porter was jailed for 40 weeks for breaching a suspended sentence by failing to attend even the induction course and not going to a single meeting with drugs workers or probation officers.

Judge John Neligan activated his suspended sentence at Exeter Crown Court and told him he had only himself to blame for going to jail.

He said: "There is not much point in this order continuing. The court gave you a chance in the past, a rather unusual chance but you failed to attend even the induction session. Irrespective of your mother’s death, you failed to contact the probation service and you did not even pay lip service to this order, which was an alternative to immediate custody. It is time to activate the sentence."

He ordered him to serve 40 weeks of the original 52, allowing him a small reduction because he had stayed out of trouble since it was passed in January.

Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said Walker had failed to attend his induction and first two meetings with his supervising officer, both of which happened days before he learned of his mother’s death on February 20.

Nigel Wraith, defending, said Walker’s focus had been distracted by the death of his mother, which led him to go to Stoke to organise her funeral. He said he has work at the Asian Spice Indian restaurant and is keen to continue his battle against drugs.

In the original case the court heard how he and fellow addict Mark Goddard were found with heroin with a potential street value of more than £2,000 when officers raided a flat in Oxford Grove. Plain clothes drugs squad police had watched Goddard’s home and seen Walker leave it and go to a waiting BMW car with a £20 deal.

Inside the house they found more heroin, along with bags, scales, and a list of customers hidden in a secret compartment in the kitchen.

Unemployed Goddard, aged 43, of Oxford Grove, Ilfracombe, and Walker, aged 45, of Fore Street, Ilfracombe, admitted possession of heroin with intent to supply. Walker also admitted simple possession of the drug.

They were both jailed for a year, suspended for two years, and ordered to receive intensive drug rehabilitation as part of 12 months supervision.

Walker claimed he was visiting Goddard because he is housebound and was not able to exchange his own needles. He said his friend asked him to take a package to a car and he did not realise it was drugs.

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