A Daventry man has been imprisoned after crashing his car in a high speed police chase and being found with around £8,500 of Class A and B drugs in his possession.
Joules Rutherford, aged 26, of Wordsworth Road appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday, May 11 after being charged with two counts of possessing cocaine with intent to supply, two counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and one count of dangerous driving.
The court heard that Rutherford aroused the suspicions of police officers on duty on July 19, 2018 when they observed him driving in a “dangerous” manner at speeds of up to 90mph in a 60mph zone.
Luc Chignell, prosecuting, said that the defendant refused to stop for police and ended up crashing his car into a lamppost before fleeing on foot.
Police reportedly said that, upon inspection of the car, they discovered a large quantity of cocaine and cannabis and it thus became clear that the vehicle was being used for drug dealing.
The court heard that police searched Rutherford’s property on November 7, 2018 where they found a quantity of cocaine, cannabis, money, scales and equipment.
Mr Chignell said: “This suggests it involved something of a profit as there was quite a substantial amount of money.”
Rutherford has four previous convictions, including possession of cannabis in 2015 and 2017 as well as two incidents of violence in 2010 and 2013 when he was a youth.
Zayd Ahmed, in mitigation, told the court that Rutherford is a known cannabis user, who “lived in fear” because he owed debts to a drug dealer.
Mr Ahmed said Rutherford was engaged by “intimidation and pressure,” which led to the defendant being “forced” to sell cocaine and cannabis as he had no other source of income to repay these debts.
The defence barrister added that the offences are four years old, nobody was injured in the collision and Rutherford has since taken steps to address his addiction and behaviour.
Mr Ahmed said: “He has - after this incident - turned his life around and is trying to be a better person.”
Mr Recorder Ben Williams told the court that Rutherford was found in possession of around £3,500 of cannabis and around £5,000 worth of cocaine in total.
Mr Williams said: “What is frankly inexcusable is it took three years for the defendant to appear before the magistrates court. This delay in itself provides mitigation.”
Addressing Rutherford, Mr Williams added: “You were clearly aware that cocaine is a much more harmful and addictive drug but you overrode that with your own self interests and you still must face the consequences of your actions.”
Rutherford was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment for the four counts of possession of Class A and B drugs with intent to supply and then a further four months imprisonment to be served consecutively for dangerous driving. This amounts to a total of 28 months imprisonment.
The 26-year-old man was additionally disqualified from driving for 26 months and ordered to take an extended driving re-test before applying for a new driving licence.