Cash trouble led to drugs

A BULWELL man, who was caught in a car with high-purity cocaine worth up to £25,000 if cut, has been jailed for three years.

Ian Kirkwood (25) of Neston Drive, had not been convicted of any criminal offence before, Nottingham Crown Court was told on Monday.

His barrister, Jolyon Canlin, said: ‘He faced financial problems.

‘The opportunity was offered to him to make some money, and he didn’t think through the implications.’

The court heard that police officers were following the car in Nottinghamshire on Friday July 1 when it started to speed away.

It then pulled over, and Kirkwood was seen to be a back-seat passenger.

“When he was searched, he tried to distract the officer,” said Jenny Carter-Manning (prosecuting).

“But 251.85 grammes of cocaine were discovered in his jacket pocket.”

The block of drugs had an estimated wholesale value of £7,500 and £12,550 on the streets, the court was told.

It had a high level of purity at 11%, and if further adulterated, it could have had a street value of £25,000.

Electronic scales, with traces of cocaine on them, were also found in the front of the vehicle.

Kirkwood pleaded guilty to possession of the class A drug with intent to supply. Although he had no prior convictions, he had received two cautions for possession of cannabis and cocaine.

Kirkwood’s mother, sister and friends were in court to support him.

Judge Joan Butler told him: ‘It is a very sad day for you and your family. If you had had a trial, the minimum sentence I would have imposed would have been five years. But at least you had the good sense to plead guilty.’

When the sentence was announced, a woman in the public seats began weeping and shouting, forcing the judge to order that the court be cleared.