Cocaine addict jailed for two years

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A 35-YEAR-OLD family man who lost everything after turning to drugs has been jailed for two years.

Michael Barker ended up living in his car after his addiction to cocaine took hold, Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Kathryn Dodds told the court police raided Barker’s home in Leven Walk, Peterlee.

“In total 37g of cocaine with a street value of about £2,000 was found,” said Ms Dodds.

“Some of it was in 1.6g wraps in the house, and some in the defendant’s car.

“The cocaine had been adulterated with caffeine and was of average 34 per cent purity.”

Barker, now of Furness Close, Peterlee, admitted possessing a class A drug with intent to supply it on March 26, last year.

The court heard he pleaded guilty on the basis he was looking after the drugs for dealers to which he owed money.

Stuart Graham, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Barker is now a broken man.

“He used to have a happy marriage and a good job as a data controller.

“When his marriage broke down, he turned to drugs as some people do.

“This put him on a downward spiral and at one point he was reduced to living in his car.”

Mr Graham said Barker had been attacked three times by people he would not name, but is now drugs free and hopes to “build bridges” to his six-year-old child.

Judge Peter Kelson QC jailed Barker for two years.

The judge told him: “You agreed to look after this poisonous drug knowing it would be supplied to others, and knowing the dreadful impact that would have on their lives.”