Biggleswade drug addict jailed after being caught hauling cocaine worth £107,000 in van
PUBLISHED: 15:40 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:40 24 May 2017
A drug addict who agreed to supply cocaine worth more than £100,000 in his van in an effort to pay off his debts has been jailed for almost six years.
Gavin Radford, of Mead End, had been “in thrall to cocaine for many years”, Luton Crown Court heard – and agreed to transport 2kg of the drug to pay off money he owed.
When stopped and questioned by police at 5.45pm on March 6, he immediately said the van contained cocaine – in the form of two 1kg packets filled with drugs of 63 and 64 per cent purity, with a street value of between £59,700 and £107,000.
Prosecutor John Carmichael said the wholesale value of the drug was £28,000 per kilo.
Radford, 36, appeared for sentence via video link from prison in Peterborough, having earlier pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.
The court heard he was of previous good character – but defence counsel Stefan Weidmann said Radford had become “utterly dependent” on the drug after struggling to recover from a relationship breakdown.
Mr Weidmann said: “He is a man in his mid-30s who has sadly fallen from a great height.
“He has held down decent jobs, but has been in thrall to cocaine for many years.”
Radford, he said, had agreed to transport the drug in an attempt to reduce his debts.
In further mitigation, Mr Weidmann said that while on remand in prison, Radford was doing all the courses he could in the hope that he would emerge from jail having broken the cycle of addition.
He said: “He is very, very downcast. He wants to make as much use as he can of services in prisons, and wants it to be his sole experience of criminal justice system.”
While jailing Radford, the judge, Recorder Jeremy Benson QC, said that the starting point for sentence was nine years, but he was reducing it to five years and nine months in light of his early guilty plea and mitigation.