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British court jails Nigerian over cocaine

Posted by From Gbolahan Gbadamosi (in London) on 2005/03/29 | Views: 516 |

British court jails Nigerian over cocaine


A 37-YEAR-OLD Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, Adekunle Lawson has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for being in possession of "crack cocaine with intent to supply."

A 37-YEAR-OLD Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, Adekunle Lawson has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for being in possession of "crack cocaine with intent to supply."

Lawson, of Somerford Grove, Stoke Newington had renounced his former life of crime when he became a born-again Christian eight years ago.

According to the Easter edition of Hackney Gazette, Lawson became a regular church-goer and a lay preacher, but he found that even with prayers "the bills don't go away" and his debts quickly mounted up.

When members of his family were evicted from their home and his wife left him, he found that the only way to make ends meet was to return to his criminal ways.

Hackney Gazette reported: "On December 22 last year, police officers searching his Vauxhall Cavalier car near his home discovered 10,000 N2.6m worth of "crack cocaine". They also found a small safe in the car boot with nearly 900 inside it. Lawson admitted possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply."
His counsel put up a spirited defence before the Old Bailey Court, stating that though Lawson had an extensive criminal record, including offences of robbery, his crimes had stopped in 1997 after the birth of his second son.

The lawyer, Paula Bignall argued: "He became a born-again Christian. He gave up drugs and a life style with the criminal fraternity. He became a regular church-goer and a lay preacher. He was highly regarded as a reformed criminal of some sort. He did his best to support his family, but his lifesytle had not taught him anything about managing his financial affairs."
Lawson was also said to have tried to secure job as a bus driver, but by 2002 he had debts of 5,000. His problems, according to his lawyer multiplied when his family were evicted and his wife left him, making him to start "mixing again with old friends and he saw an easy way to make money."
"He turned away from God and he went back to what he knew best. It is something for which he is deeply ashamed. Since his incarceration he has returned to God and is active in Belmarch prison", Bignall pleaded for him.

Despite this argument, Jugde Gregory Stone said: "Supplying drugs is a very serious offence. It amounts to trading on the addiction and degradation of other people. It destroys the lives of many people and it wreaks social havoc".

He was subsequently sent to jail for five years.

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