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Ex-addict’s family was threatened, court is told
5:00pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
DRUG dealers threatened the family of a former heroin addict in a bid to force him into smuggling illegal substances into jail.
Oliver Wattie was carrying drugs worth more than £1,500 when he was arrested, Worcester Magistrates Court was told.
Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said the 25-year-old’s parents called police after abusive messages were posted through their door. He had also been missing for several days.
She said Wattie told officers in an interview he took the drugs because of threats and was ordered to take them into prison.
Miss Lovegrove said he had intended to swallow them and get himself arrested. He claimed a woman had given him the drugs but refused to name her.
She said Wattie was unsure he could go through with the plan and had been wandering the streets of Worcester for several days when police found him.
Miss Lovegrove said officers had seen evidence of the threats and charged him with possession, rather than dealing. He was on a suspended prison sentence at the time of his arrest, which was activated.
Wattie, of Richmond Road, Worcester, pleaded guilty to possessing 2.91g of heroin worth £330, 191.98g of cannabis worth between £925 and £1,610 and buprenorphine worth between £180 and £224.
Sarah Brady, defending, said considerable pressure had been put on her client to smuggle drugs into jail after he was targeted during a previous prison sentence. Threats had been made against his parents and a brick thrown through a window at the family home.
Ms Brady said: “This isn’t a case of an individual who simply comes before court in possession of a large amount of drugs, having accrued them for his own recreation.”
She said Wattie started offending after he became hooked on heroin in his early 20s. During a prison spell last year he came off the drug and has not touched it since. He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer while in custody and recently finished his third course of chemotherapy.
Ms Brady said his health was much improved and he was now hoping to return to work and to provide for his four-year-old twin sons.
She said: “He really plans to make something of himself.”
Magistrates sentenced Wattie to a six-month community order for the three offences, with six months’ supervision to prevent him from relapsing.