A DRUGS dealer who was caught delivering crack cocaine on his motorbike has been warned to expect four years in prison.
William Greenwood aroused the suspicions of a patrolling police officer as he rode through West Rainton, Durham Crown Court heard.
“When Greenwood apparently became aware of the officer’s interest he threw two packages into a hedge,” said Ian West, prosecuting.
“These were recovered and found to contain scales and 50g of crack cocaine, which has a street value of about £2,500.
“When arrested, Greenwood claimed he thought the package contained gold.
“He said he was delivering it to someone on behalf of two people he couldn’t name.”
Greenwood, 48, of Wear Street, Chilton Moor, near Houghton, admitted possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply it on January 16.
He offered a basis of plea that he was doing a single delivery under duress from the two men. Giving evidence to support the basis, Greenwood told the court he had been making weekly payments to two dealers who claimed his son owed them money for drugs.
Some weeks he could not pay, so the men asked him to deliver the package to a man in a blue hat and coat who would be waiting for him near the travellers’ site in Adventure Lane.
Greenwood said he was frightened of the men and was relieved to be caught.
He could not say why the weekly visits had stopped six months ago, or why the men had not contacted him about their crack cocaine which had been seized by police.
Giving judgment in the trial of issue, Judge Christopher Prince rejected Greenwood’s account.
The judge said: “I find it wholly implausible these men would involve this defendant as a courier when he was unproven in that role.
“Going to his house to deliver the package, after they had previously threatened him, would have exposed them to a greater risk of being caught than simply delivering the package themselves.
“The defendant says he was glad to be caught, but he had the opportunity to unburden himself to the police yet did not do so.
“It seems to me he has used the intervening months to make up this story to account for his possession of the drugs that day.”
Remanding Greenwood in custody, Judge Prince told him: “You will be sentenced on the basis you were playing a significant role in the street dealing of cocaine.
“The guidelines suggest a starting point of around four years.
“By lying to the police and by lying to me today, you have shown you are not inclined to assist the judicial process.”
Greenwood will be sentenced on August 8.