Ad­dict jailed for deal­ing heroin and crack co­caine

Accrington Observer - - LOOKING BACK -

JON MACPHER­SON

ADRUG ad­dict who was caught sup­ply­ing crack co­caine and heroin in a back street by un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cers has been jailed.

Richard Whit­taker was stopped by plain-clothed of­fi­cers shortly af­ter com­plet­ing a deal and told them: “Just a typ­i­cal Thurs­day af­ter­noon. Be­ing stopped by the po­lice. I thought you were com­ing to buy off me.”

The 43-year-old was found with £330 worth of class A drugs split into £10 street deals, a ‘ crum­pled £20 note in his hand’ and a mo­bile phone con­tain­ing drug-re­lated mes­sages, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Judge Simon Med­land QC said Whit­taker knew ‘bet­ter than any­body’ the dam­age drugs can do af­ter los­ing his part­ner to heroin in 2015.

Whit­taker, of Spin­dle Berry Court, Ac­cring­ton, pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing crack co­caine and her- oin with in­tent to sup­ply and was jailed for 32 months.

Pros­e­cu­tor Stephen Parker told the court how plain clothed of­fi­cers in un­marked po­lice ve­hi­cles from the Tar­geted Crime Team were on duty in Ac­cring­ton in the area be­tween Wil­fred Street and Belfield Road.

They saw ‘sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity’ in a back street on May 4 last year and ar­rested Whit­taker at around 2pm.

When he was ar­rested some of the drugs fell on the floor and he told the of­fi­cers that he had two wraps still on him and there were 28 that had dropped to the floor.

Mr Parker said the de­fen­dant told of­fi­cers at the scene: “Just a typ­i­cal Thurs­day af­ter­noon. Be­ing stopped by the po­lice. I thought you were com­ing to buy off me.”

When he was for­mally in­ter­viewed at the po­lice sta­tion, he claimed the com­ments were ‘made in jest’ and de­nied be­ing re­spon­si­ble for any class A drugs sup­ply.

Mr Parker said the po­lice of­fi­cer who an­a­lysed his phone de­ter­mined that Whit­taker was a ‘user dealer’ to fund his own habit and was work­ing ‘on be­half of some­body else’.

Sen­tenc­ing, Judge Med­land said: “You per­haps bet­ter than any­body in this room to­day know that drugs, es­pe­cially class A drugs, ruin peo­ple’s lives. They bring mis­ery and cor­ro­sive dis­rup­tion to com­mu­ni­ties.

“They pro­mote or­gan­ised crime, they ruin peo­ple’s health and you very sadly know all too di­rectly they bring peo­ple’s lives to an early and tragic end.

“In or­der to sup­port your own habit you were sell­ing drugs on the street and thereby you were per­pet­u­at­ing that mis­ery that other peo­ple had.”

Richard Whit­taker was caught sup­ply­ing drugs by un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cers

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