Army veteran and dad of three jailed for cocaine supply crimes and assaulting a police officer

Carlisle Crown Court heard that five wraps of cocaine were also found during a search of his home. Credit: Craig McGlasson

An army veteran and dad-of three is starting a lengthy jail term after being stopped with almost a quarter of a kilo of high purity cocaine while travelling on the A66.

John Patrick, 40, was caught near Keswick as he made a single trafficking trip from Leeds to West Cumbria as a criminal courier on 9 December 2021.

He was initially co-operative but appeared nervous and gave conflicting details about his journey. When told by police his vehicle would be searched, Patrick became obstructive and attempted to escape by pushing officers.

During a 10-minute struggle as Patrick tried to reach his car, he kicked and punched out at one officer. As he was being restrained a package fell from his person and that contained 245g of 76 per cent purity cocaine potentially worth up to £24,500.

Carlisle Crown Court heard on Tuesday that five wraps of cocaine were also found during a search of his home along with £120 cash, weighing scales bearing white powder and four envelopes with names and amounts. The substance was to be peddled among a small number of friends.

Patrick admitted twice possessing cocaine with intent to supply on an agreed basis — that he made only one illegal journey while feeling under pressure from a man who had called in a favour relating to an earlier loan. He also admitted assaulting an emergency worker.

The court heard there had been a “downward turn” in Patrick’s life following an exemplary discharge from army service. A man of previous good character with three young children, he was employed and backed by impressive references.

But pleas for a suspended prison sentence failed as Recorder Tony Hawks jailed Patrick, of Clarack Drive, Moor Row, near Whitehaven, for three years in recognition of his “significant” criminal role.

“It is very sad that somebody in your position who has so much to offer has fallen so low,” Recorder Hawks told the defendant. “But it seems to me I have got no option but to send you directly to prison today.”

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