A north Cumbria heroin dealer has been jailed by a judge for almost seven years after he committed his fourth class A drug supply crime.
Christopher Cooke, 41, was stopped by police at Carlisle bus station on December 10 and subjected to a search. Cooke was in possession of digital scales and although he said he had a wrap of heroin on him, none was found.
But when his Gelt Road home in Brampton was searched, several balls of heroin potential worth almost £4,000 were recovered, along with £870, from a money box.
Cooke admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply having accepted dealing the drug, and possessing criminal cash.
Carlisle Crown Court heard it was Cooke’s fourth class A drugs supply conviction. He was jailed for more than five years, in 2018, for his low level involvement in a massive county lines supply plot masterminded by Merseyside-based drug barons.
The court heard today, Cooke had begun abusing illegal substances again while serving that sentence at a time when use among prison inmates was “rife” because no urine tests being carried out amid the Covid pandemic. Previously a “prolific” heroin user he had been released from custody, told he had a £30,000 debt and, said his barrister Kim Whittlestone, “became involved again”.
That triggered a mandatory minimum prison term of seven years which, Recorder Anna Vigars QC was told, would have a “devastating” impact on Cooke’s partner. Given a discount for his guilty pleas, Cooke was handed a total jail term of 67 months and six days for the latest offences.
“It is not really the quantity that is important,” Recorder Vigars told Cooke of the heroin haul recovered in December. “It is the fact that you have dealt class A drugs on so many occasions in the past.”