A young accountant shouted “my life is over” when police caught him with bags of ketamine and £5,000 in his car in Wiltshire.
Jacob Alexander Lindsay Brown opened his account with a Forex trading scheme when he was 18 – but his plan to earn extra money backfired.
Instead of pocketing the pounds, he racked up debts of £30,000 and was struggling to keep up repayments. To help pay off the significant sum, Brown dealt ketamine.
His illicit activities were discovered when police stopped his black Hyundai on Station Road in Calne, Wilts., late on October 23, 2020. The now 21-year-old ran off, but stopped voluntarily and told officers: “My life is over.”
Prosecutor Andrew Pickett told Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday, July 5, that a search of the car revealed four clear bags of white powder, which turned out to be ketamine, as well as bags, scales, a grinder, a spoon and a small funnel in the fuse box next to the steering wheel.
He added that almost £5,000 of cash was located under the driver’s seat – that he later told police he owed to his dealer. More drugs were also found in a suitcase under his bed at his parents’ house.
The ketamine, a Class B drug, was found to have a value of between £2,850 and £3,990.
Defending, Giles Nelson said his client opened the Forex after being “lured” into the scheme by posts on social media advertising the ‘opportunity’.
“They get lured into it as a way to seem smart, but they’re just gambling entities”, he said.
“It’s an enormous trap really. His issue is not an issue with drugs, it’s an addictive behaviour pattern.”
But, Mr Nelson said he has “faced up to” it and has used the almost two-year delay in the case positively, by working two jobs, seven days a week, to start paying back his debts.
He said that he does not pose a risk of danger to the public, and that punishment can be achieved in the community. He asked for a suspended sentence.
When Judge Jason Taylor QC told Brown, of Marle Hill Parade in Cheltenham, that he would not be going to prison today, he became teary.
He said that the quantity of the drugs, almost 200 grams, was “significant”, which moved it further up the sentencing range.
He also factored in a caution he received for possessing ketamine in 2019.
Judge Taylor commented: “The reality is you were a young man that was lured into a money-making scheme that didn’t live up to expectations, with hindsight I’m sure you can see there were elements of naivety.
“You thought the best way out was doing what you were doing.
“I have to recognise this was committed almost two years ago and I have to recognise how you’ve used that period, and that impresses me.
“This will affect your career and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Brown’s ten-month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months.
During that time, he must complete 20 rehabilitation activity days, 175 hours of unpaid work and court costs of £425. The drugs and cash were also confiscated.
“I believe that you have learnt your lesson, I also believe you won’t come before the court again. Don’t let me down,” the judge said as the defendant left the dock.
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