|Isleworth Crown Court|
Jobless carpet fitter Charles Hitchens Wooden, 23, of Pimpernel Road, Horsford, Norwich – who suffered a serious cardiac arrest a year ago – initially claimed the cocaine was for himself, but texts on his mobile phone revealed active dealing.
He pleaded guilty to possessing 1.19 gms of the drug, with intent to supply, in Hillingdon, west London on August 27 and at Isleworth Crown Court today was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years.
“I hope I'm not going to be made to look a fool by passing that suspended sentence,” Recorder DCH Cartwright told the dad-of-one. “You can consider yourself extraordinarily lucky.”
The court heard Wooden has had an internal defibrillator fitted to regulate his heart rhythm and needs daily cardiac monitoring and has regular hospital appointments.
Prosecutor Mr. Charles McDonald told the court police stopped the defendant and detected a strong smell of cannabis within the vehicle.
They quickly found the cash and when told he would be searched Wooden handed over four wraps of 70-90% pure cocaine.
“His mobile phone contained texts strongly indicative of drug dealing and after claiming the cocaine was for personal use he admitted selling drugs on a social basis because he fell on hard times.
“It was a small quantity, but was street-dealing and it was clear from the texts he was involved in dealing other drugs at other times, but we do not know in what quantities.”
Wooden's lawyer Mr. Mo Dampha said: “there is a level of naivety and it was social dealing to friends and he is absolutely petrified of going to prison.”
Recorder Cartwright told him: “You were not candid with the police until faced with the phone evidence of dealing.”
He also ordered Wooden to attend a ten to twenty day rehab programme to address his cannabis misuse, attend a thinking skills programme and pay a £120 victim surcharge and £180 court charge.