A ‘drug-ridden’ Alresford man has been convicted of drug possession after being acquitted of trafficking.
Kenneth LeComber persuaded a jury at a trial in May that the large amount of Class A drugs he was caught with was a bulk purchase during Covid for his personal use.
Winchester Crown Court heard there was enough for 59 ‘shots’ of crack cocaine, 289 of heroin and 140 of cocaine.
Gordon Ross, prosecuting, said the jury accepted that LeComber made a bulk purchase during the Covid lockdown period when social restrictions were in place.
The court heard LeComber, 55, of The Brook, Old Alresford and formerly of Stanmore, had a long history of drug offenses.
Mitigating Tom Horder said his client had serious health issues, suffered from emphysema and was awaiting lung reduction surgery. His mother had died in 2020 and he was also affected by the death of his brother.
But Mr Horder said the reason no drug treatment order was being suggested was because LeComber had made “pretty good progress since the offence. He seems to be stabilized; he’s on methadone and n has not reoffended since.
“This matter had an effect on him. It was a very clear warning shot through the arcs and one that had weighed on him for a long time. It was not a matter that he took lightly and that caused, on his own initiative, anxiety. He has the support of his friends, family and partner and has rebuilt his life at Alresford.”
Mr Horder said LeComber received £605 a month in benefits, which left him with little to spend beyond basic expenses.
Sentencing on Friday July 8, Judge M. Recorder Robin Sellers imposed a 12-month community order with up to 15 days of rehabilitative activity.
He said LeComber was cleared by a jury of possession with intent to supply. “The drugs were bought in bulk. There were a lot of drugs and it was inevitable that the police would think they weren’t just for your own consumption. You were ravaged by drug addiction.”
The judge imposed a costs order of £100 and an unspecified victim fine surcharge payable at £20 a month.
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