Northampton student jailed despite mother's impassioned pleas to judge for second chance
A judge told a mother in court yesterday he could not spare her son from jail after he was caught with over £3,500 of class-A drugs in Northampton.
Lawrence Boateng, 21, from London, was arrested by plains clothes police in Holly Road in March - but not before officers saw him chuck a package away as he ran.
Inside were 358 wraps of cocaine and heroin, with a street value of up to £7,000.
Boateng, who is a University of Northampton student, was also arrested in January after officers found he was carrying a knife, for which he was handed a suspended sentence.
But at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, Boateng's mother took the stand to plead with the judge to give her son "a second chance".
"I did my best with him," she told the court. "I was so happy when he got into college. I just want to see him graduate as an accountant.
"I don't know what happened along the way. I'm not saying my son is perfect or he doesn't deserve to be punished.
"Please give him another chance."
She also told the court she had always tried to teach him "education is the only way" and worked overtime to pay for his lessons as a child.
Boateng, who appeared on a live-video link from prison, kept his head lowered as his mother made her case to His Honour Judge Michael Fowler.
However, the judge was not moved during his sentencing.
"I don't doubt what you say," Judge Fowler told Boateng's mother. "And anyone who could hear what you say would feel nothing but sympathy.
"But I cannot treat him any differently that everyone else.
"I feel sorry for you. I do."
Turning to Boateng, Judge Fowler said: "You were given a chance in January to address your behaviour.
"I make it clear I have seen no evidence that you are directly involved in gang operations. But when you were given those drugs you must have known the seriousness of the matter."
Judge Fowler said he could find "no just reason" to suspend a sentence, and jailed Boateng for two years and eight months.
The drugs seized by police were ordered to be destroyed.