Published: 11:00, 21 May 2014
A drug dealer who armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition has been jailed for 15 years.
Christian Herman, formerly of Williams Way, Rochester, bragged he was a gangster after he moved into a father's home in Maidstone with the weapon and a stash of cocaine and heroin.
Christopher Ketley told a jury how he let Herman, 35, stay at his flat in Scotney Gardens, St Peter's Street, Maidstone.
Mr Ketley said he was eventually forced to move out of his own home where his children would visit when the situation turned "hostile".
He was watching television in April last year when Herman walked in holding the shotgun wrapped in cloth and declared: "Look at this beauty."
One night, Herman returned with Kelly Loveridge, 24, a prostitute he said he had been living with in Chatham.
"Mr Herman said he was a gangster and he had killed people," said prosecutor Vivian Walters. "He threatened to hurt Mr Ketley. He said he was doing his head in with his stupid rules."
"Plainly, a substantial custodial sentence is the only sentence I can impose for these offences. In a nutshell, you are a professional criminal dealing in drugs..." - Judge David Caddick
Mr Ketley was so frightened he armed himself with kitchen knives. He told his ex-partner what had happened and she called the police.
Officers went to the flat with a sniffer dog and tracked down a holdall at the back near the river.
It contained the shotgun and ammunition, £3,840 in cash, just under 28 grammes of crack cocaine at 24% purity and just under 28 grammes of heroin at 18 per cent purity.
Herman was convicted of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing criminal property - the cash - and perverting the course of justice.
He denied all of the charges and plans to appeal against conviction.
Kelly Loveridge, of Chilham Close, Chatham, denied three offences of possessing drugs with intent to supply, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and possessing criminal property, and was found not guilty by judge’s direction.
Herman was sentenced to eight years for the shotgun offence, six years consecutive for the drugs offences, 12 months consecutive for perverting the course of justice and two years concurrent for possessing criminal property.
He told Judge David Caddick as he was taken to the cells: "God bless you, your honour."
The judge told Herman: "Plainly, a substantial custodial sentence is the only sentence I can impose for these offences. In a nutshell, you are a professional criminal dealing in drugs.
"To protect your trade and your patch you had a sawn-off shotgun, even if it was only to threaten people if the necessity arises."
Just before the trial, Herman tried to intimidate Mr Ketley to stop him giving evidence against him.
Judge Caddick said he had to consider whether Herman posed a threat in future, but said there was no evidence of serious violence with weapons in his criminal record. The most serious offence involved the shotgun.
"The kind of gun is important," he added. "It is a weapon that there can be no other sensible level of use for. It was the worst kind of weapon you could have chosen.
"It was in good working order and there was a pack of ammunition with it. You certainly used it in the sense of brandishing it and talking in a bragging way, making threats which suggested you might be willing to use it.
"It was related to involvement in serious drug dealing. The intimidation was not on the spur
of the moment. You made serious threats."
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