Reading Crown Court: Was Theale drug dealer's cocaine 'cut' with cancer chemical?
A DRUG dealer feared to have 'cut' his cocaine with a cancer-causing chemical is behind bars today.
Police received an anonymous 999 tip-off about a parked vehicle that was proving strangely popular with visitors who would get in, stay a few moments and then leave.
Officers were despatched and found cocaine, cash and 'burner' phones in Nathaniel Walker's vehicle.
Disturbingly, Reading Crown Court heard on Monday, May 9, officers who searched his home also found electronic scales and a quantity of phenacetin – a chemical used as a cocaine adulterant which is implicated in causing kidney cancer.
Lisa Goddard, prosecuting, said Walker was busted alongside an accomplice, 20-year-old Namar Tyrer of Oxford Road, Reading.
Tyrer was caught with £390 in notes, nearly three grams of cocaine in wraps and 47 wraps – nearly five grams – of heroin.
Both men admitted being concerned in the supply of both Class A controlled drugs on July 1, 2019.
Tyrer was of previous good character, the court heard, but Walker has convictions for 79 offences, including possessing Class A controlled drugs and dealing in the Class B controlled drug, cannabis.
Nadia Chbat, for Walker, said he had been homeless following the breakdown of the relationship with his partner and had allowed his vehicle to be used for drug dealing in order to make money to pay off a debt.
She added: "He was, as he describes it, a 'gofer.'
"He was going through emotional turmoil and wasn't thinking straight."
Sam Moss, for Tyrer, said his client had also run up a drug debt and had been given packets of heroin and cocaine to sell in order to pay it off.
Judge Sarah Campbell noted that Tyrer had been aged just 17 at the time of the offences.
She sentenced him to 16 months detention in a Young Offenders' Institution but suspended it for two years.
In addition, Tyrer was required to complete 180 hours of unpaid community work.
Judge Campbell sentenced Walker to three years and 10 months immediate imprisonment.
He will serve half the sentence – minus the time he has already spent in custody awaiting sentence – behind bars and the remainder on licence in the community.