Northampton man avoids prison after police find drugs in his car 25 days after being released from custody

The court heard that cocaine, MDMA and cannabis was discovered in the offender’s vehicle

By Megan Hillery
Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:28 pm

A Northampton man has been given a suspended prison sentence after being found in possession of drugs 25 days after being released from prison for previous drugs offences.

Adam Gardner, aged 27, of Fullingdale Road, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Monday, June 13 after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply, possession of MDMA and cannabis, money laundering and breaching bail conditions.

The court heard that Gardner’s car was stopped by police on April 12, 2018 and a search revealed that his car was not taxed. After finding no drugs on Gardner’s person, officers allowed him to retrieve his belongings from the vehicle.

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Adam Gardner, aged 27, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Monday, June 13.

James Bruce, prosecuting, said that officers then found Gardner fiddling with the car’s handbrake and gearstick. This prompted police to search the vehicle, where they found a quantity of cocaine, cannabis, MDMA, deal bags, a mobile phone and £1,275 in cash.

The court heard that text messages on Gardner’s phone referred to drugs and dealing - specifically, customers being happy about the quality of drugs they received and money owed.

Gardner has six previous convictions for 17 offences - all relating to drugs apart from one driving offence. Gardner’s last drug supply offence took place in 2014 for which he was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

The court heard that Gardner had been out of prison for 25 days when police pulled him over in April 2018.

Carl Wheeler, in mitigation, said that Gardner had a “very heavy” addiction to Class A drugs at the time of the offence - a habit that cost him in excess of £200 a day – and he sold drugs, solely to fund his own habit, to associates instead of the general public.

The court heard that Gardner had an abusive upbringing and used recreational drugs as a form of escapism, which then progressed to harder drugs and “trapped” the defendant in a vicious cycle of re-offending.

Mr Wheeler said Gardner had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder in 2013 and still has ongoing mental health problems.

The defence barrister added that the four-year delay in hearing this case made Gardner feel as if he had a “guillotine hanging over his head” but, despite that, used this time “wisely” by gaining employment. Gardner now cares for an elderly person, who suffers from dementia.

Recorder Jones sentenced Gardner to 20 months imprisonment - suspended for two years - for possession of cocaine with intent to supply, 20 weeks imprisonment for possession of MDMA, 10 weeks for possession of cannabis and 10 weeks for money laundering.

No separate penalty was imposed for breaching bail conditions and all prison sentences will run concurrently, meaning Gardner will serve a total of 20 months imprisonment if he re-offends in the next two years.

Recorder Jones said: “The reasons I suspend this are because of the significant steps you have taken to rehabilitate yourself, your difficult circumstances and the impact of a prison sentence on your job and the man who you care for.”

Gardner was ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.