Heroin dealer in bid to kick habit

Burnley Crown Court

Burnley Crown Court

First published in News by , Court reporter

A HEROIN dealer who was supplying addicts from his Nelson home has vowed to kick his own habit and change his life – and a judge gave him six months to prove he means business.

Keith Kavanagh, 47, had denied selling the Class A drug after police raided his property on Castle Street and found heroin worth £150 on the streets, stashed behind the television.

But, he then owned up weeks later when he met a community support officer by chance in the street, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Kavanagh, who has a previous conviction for peddling heroin, is now on a reducing methadone programme after turning to Inspire for help.

Care plans are also in place for both he and his equally addicted partner. The couple are both due to go on a 28-day hospital detoxification and then into residential rehabi-litation when funding is available, said Kavanagh’s solicitor, who added they would be facing a “long and rocky road”.

The court heard the defendant was “sick of his addictions” and was desperate to change his life.

Judge Jonathan Gibson offered him the chance to do just that — or be jailed by deferring sentence until January 26.

Judge Gibson said: “If you abide by the conditions, you will receive a sentence that does not involve custody.

“If you don’t, you can expect a sentence approaching four years.”

Kavanagh admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Louise Whaites, prosecuting, said last August 24, police kept observations on Kavanagh’s home and saw five people with drugs convictions there.

Officers went in and found 15 wraps of heroin, weighing 2.46 grams, in a bag behind the TV.

Plastic wrapping and bags were in the wheelie bin.

Two people at the property were in possession of £10 notes.

Miss Whaites said Kavanagh had first denied intending to supply drugs and said he had bought the heroin for £100 for his own use.

The defendant had 31 offences on his record and in 1998 was jailed for three years for supplying heroin.

Richard Taylor, defending, said Kavanagh had a “very, very en-trenched” drug addiction and now had alcohol problems as well. But, he was now on a methadone prescription, along with his partner.

The solicitor added: “They are mutually supportive, but given the wrong buttons to push, they could be mutually destructive as well.”

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