Fenland drug dealer spared prison after Judge hears dying brother plea

A FENLAND drug dealer who was facing a potential prison sentence with “profound dread” because he would miss his dying brother’s last months, has been given a last chance by a judge.

Wisbech market trader Brian Goodale, 43, an addict for 20 years, was already cutting down his �200 a week habit and wanted to stop completely, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

“His eldest brother has terminal lung and kidney cancer and is not expected to live past September this year,” said his barrister James MacWhirter.

“The prospect of imprisonment and prospect of missing his brother’s final hours fills him with the most profound dread.”

The plea on Friday touched the heart of Recorder Angela Rafferty who told Goodale, of Dowgate Road, Leverington, she was prepared to give him a chance and not send him to back to prison even though he had done time previously for drug offences in 2001.

She told him: “You are right. In your own words you are too old for this caper and you now know from the illness of your brother that life is short so I hope you will take the support offered to you.”

She imposed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work for two offences of possessing class B amphetamine sulphate and cannabis with intent to supply and possessing cannabis for himself.

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“I hope you can break the cycle,” she added.

Goodale, who runs a Sunday market stall selling potatoes and part-worn tyres, had pleaded guilty to the three offences.

Prosecutor Charles Myatt said police pulled up alongside Goodale in Norwich Road, Wisbech, at 10.00am on 24 October last year but he sprinted off. He was later found crouching behind a car in Royal Place. He was seen to discard his coat.

In a plastic bag inside a crisp packet was 94.4g of a damp powder: the amphetamine weighted 78.2g when dry and was worth between �782 and �949.

There was also a bag with 26g of cannabis skunk, worth �183, and 572mg of mixed cannabis leaf and immature flowers in another bag.

Goodale told police he had bought the drugs a couple of hours earlier. His mobile phone contained references to “green” (cannabis) and “billy whizz”, amphetamines. A blood test showed he was a heavy user of both drugs.

Mitigating, Mr MacWhirter said Goodale lived with his parents and was the youngest of five siblings, who were close knit with strong bonds of affection between them. The eldest brother who was ill was in his early 50s.

Goodale existed on what he earned from his “curious” trade in potatoes and part-worn tyres.

“In October last year he was engaged in low level retail supply of cannabis and amphetamine to a small group of trusted customers he would classify as friends. It was a commercial enterprise. His profit was spent on financing his own addiction,” said Mr MacWhirter.

He added that Goodale had cut down his drug use from 2-4g of amphetamine a day, or �200 a week, to �20 a week, and his cannabis was now reduced to �5 a week.

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