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Nelson addict sent 10-year-old daughter to 'drugs dens'
A NELSON addict used his 10-year-old daughter to raise cash for heroin and put her in serious danger by sending her to “drugs dens” to get his next fix, a court was told.
The father was said to have used threats to send the child out on the streets of Burnley, knocking on doors to collect money in a charity sponsorship scam. He gave her a note and made her go to the house of a drug dealer she didn’t know, but called ‘Big Man’, hand over the letter, and pick up his supply.
On another occasion she had to meet someone at the back of a supermarket.
The town’s crown court was told how the defendant was only caught because the girl, whose mother had told her to give herself up, effectively got herself arrested and told police what had been going on.
The father is today starting a 20-month jail term, after a judge slammed him as a controlling and manipulative coward, and said it was tragic he had repaid his daughter’s obvious love for him by getting her to do his ‘dirty work’ and putting her at risk.
The defendant, 34, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had admitted two charges of being concerned in the supply of heroin, last November and December. He has a criminal record.
Martin Hackett, prosecuting, said last December 17, the girl was seen in Burnley, presenting a fake sponsorship form door-to-door. Police were called and the 10-year-old was arrested for fraud. In reply to caution, she said: “I have been told to tell you the truth.”
Mr Hackett said the child told officers the defendant was only happy if she made about £30 from sponsorship, and spoke of “various threats as regards her going out to collect this money”.
Mr Hackett said the defendant was arrested, and denied getting the girl to go out and make money on his behalf. He accepted, on occasions, he sent his daughter for some heroin and that it was wrong.
Mark Friend, for the defendant said he had a “prodigious” addiction to heroin and that was the fundamental problem in his life.
Sentencing, Recorder William T C Smith said: “You have put your own child in a potentially perilous position by exposing her in that way.”