AFTER police stopped drug dealer Tyrone Duke they found the fingerprints of a man whose home had been used to prepare the wraps of cocaine.
The 33-year-old, of School Croft, Beausale, near Warwick, was jailed for four years after he was found guilty of possessing the cocaine with intent to supply it, which he had denied.
But Jack Whitworth escaped being jailed after he had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possessing cannabis.
Instead the 23-year-old, of Hellidon Close, Leamington, was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutor Gerry Bermingham said in January last year police in Leamington saw two men with a young child get into a Hyundai car in Lansdowne Street.
They stopped it as it drove away, and the driver, Duke, and the other man were both detained and searched.
Nothing was found on them, but under a panel in the boot of the car was a carrier bag containing a set of scales, 22 wraps of cocaine and a further package of cocaine – altogether with a street value of around £1,300.
Duke was arrested, and denied any knowledge of the drugs, but was convicted following a trial earlier this year.
On some of the packages the police found Whitworth’s fingerprints, which were on file for a previous conviction of driving with excess alcohol, and he was then also arrested.
Whitworth, who had some cannabis for his own use, met Duke in a night club.
At Whitworth’s home Duke divided up some of the cocaine into deals.
Whitworth added he had picked up some of the wraps from the table, which was how his prints ended up on them.
Simon Phillips, for Duke, who works in traffic management when he was in employment, said he was a father-of-four who was described as ‘a hands-on parent,’ and had the support of his partner and his father.
Nick Devine, for Whitworth, said “It was a stupid thing to do” and pointed out Whitworth, who works as a security guard, had had the matter hanging over him since pleading guilty as long ago as May last year.
Sentencing the two men, Recorder Gareth Evans QC told Duke, who had walked into court with the aid of crutches: “Anybody who possessed cocaine with intent to supply it knows it’s a prison sentence.
“I don’t sentence you on the basis that you corrupted your co-accused or persuaded him to assist you, and I accept you are not well because of an accident and that you have had other problems.”
And he told Whitworth: “You rather foolishly allowed your premises to be used to prepare cocaine, and assisted. It was a foolish thing to do, and highly criminal.”