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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Addict spent £3K payout on drugs

A HEROIN addict handed a £3,000 government payout after complaining about his treatment in prison spent the lot on a bulk-buy of drugs when he was released.

Barrow dad-of-one Gerard George McBlain, 31, won the taxpayer-funded compensation from the Home Office after complaining that he was denied methadone while in prison.

McBlain, of Rodney Street, Barrow, said he was a heroin addict and should have been given a methadone prescription to cope with the effects of withdrawal behind bars.

But as soon as he received his compensation from the Ministry of Justice on release last May, he decided to spend it on a bulk buy of more than 8,000 diazepam tablets, a Class C drug.

Police raided the home he shared with his girlfriend that month and found tablets with an estimated street value of £4,249 spread around the kitchen.

At the Court of Appeal, his barrister, Richard Vardon, said it was hardly a surprise that a drug addict, when presented with a cheque for thousands of pounds, would spend it on more drugs.

“He was given £3,000 and he went out and spent the money – surprise, surprise - on the drugs he is now indicted with,” he told the court.

McBlain initially denied any wrongdoing, but, in a letter to his girlfriend intercepted by police, he confessed it was he who had bought the drugs.

He later admitted buying them in bulk and, after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply at Preston Crown Court, was jailed for another 18 months.

Appealing, Mr Vardon said McBlain was a long-term drug addict, who had suffered “wicked and brutal violence” as a child, but had never supplied before.

Since he was jailed, his girlfriend had given birth to their first child and his previously estranged father had offered to pay for a course to help him get a job, he said.

Giving judgment, Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Treacy and Judge Peter Collier QC allowed McBlain’s appeal and slashed his prison sentence to 12 months.

“Having reviewed all the matters urged upon us in relation to the basis of plea, the background of this appellant and his current prospects, we do consider that the sentence passed by the judge was excessive,” said Judge Collier.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “It is regrettable that we have had to make these payments but strong legal advice was that there was a litigation risk where the costs could potentially treble if the matter went to trial.’’

Have your say

WHAT A SURPRISE EAH!WHY WOULD YOU GIVE AN ADDICT 3K ALL BECAUSE HE HAD TO DO A PATHETIC WITHDRAWAL IN JAIL OH DEAR I NEVER GOT MY METHADONE LETS SUE UM N BUY MORE DRUGS THIS GUY IS SCUM AND ALWAYS WILL BE IN THIS TOWN ..THERES PLENTY OF THINGS THAT MONEY COULD OF GONE ON HE SHOULD NOT OF BEEN ONE OF THEM NEXT YOUL BE BUYING HIS HEROIN FOR HIM....

Posted by amanda clarke on 2 May 2012 at 16:43

The headline made me angry, the details made me sad.

Posted by Martin on 1 May 2012 at 19:25

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