Published: 14:56, 08 August 2018
A baker who claimed he was forced to sell drugs because he owed a debt to dealers has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Qualified chef Benjamin Friar supplied cocaine and heroin to undercover police officers in Chatham and Gillingham on three occasions.
Maidstone Crown Court heard “marketing” texts had been sent out to known addicts offering three wraps for £20.
Believing the officers were drug users and customers, he arranged to meet up with them by a “circuitous” route and hand over the wraps.
One meeting was in the car park of Halfords in Chatham on November 21 last year.
Prosecutor Ian Foinette said the 31-year-old father of a young child supplied two wraps of cocaine and one of heroin for £20.
He did so again the following day and on December 6.
Friar, of Lester Road, Chatham, was arrested in March this year and shown images taken of him while dealing.
“You are a baker and have skills to work as a chef but through drugs you put all that in jeopardy...” - Judge Heather Baucher
He was told by a judge: “Selling drugs destroys people. Those who think they can have a bit of coke or heroin should sit where I sit day-in-day-out and see the effect on society.
“You are perpetuating this whole cycle of horror that comes before the court. The chain has to be broken.”
Nargees Choudhury, defending, said Friar was trying to pay off a £1,900 drug debt by acting as a runner for dealers.
He refused to sell any more drugs because his debt was not being reduced.
But they found his girlfriend and made threats. He was later beaten up outside his home.
Judge Heather Baucher told Miss Choudhury: “He is a drug user which is why he is in this situation. He is perpetuating the whole chain of drug abuse by passing it on to others.”
The judge told Friar, who admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply: “I am satisfied you were a drug dealer and played a significant role.
“You are a baker and have skills to work as a chef but through drugs you put all that in jeopardy.”
More by this authorKeith Hunt