A WIGAN garage boss was today beginning a six-and-a-half-year jail sentence for cocaine and cannabis dealing.
Andrew Bradley, who runs AB Tyres in Appley Bridge, was handed the tough term at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday having last month being convicted by a jury of two drug-related offences.
The 41-year-old of Grove Lane, Standish, must also pay a £120 surcharge, and the authorities are already preparing a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation in order to claw back any ill-gotten gains they can find.
Ian Mercer, defending, told the court that Bradley has now admitted to the probation service that he had committed the offences.
He lost his father last year and was also diagnosed with leukaemia. He had been due to undergo bone marrow tests but he refused to have his trial put back to enable this to happen and so his prognosis is uncertain.
Sentencing him the judge, Recorder Mark Ford, said he took into account his ill health and described him as an intelligent man “who should have known better.”
During his trial the jury, which took less than two hours to convict him, heard how police had gone to his home after a neighbour reported a suspected burglary there. Officers found no one in the premises, but discovered evidence he was apparently a drug dealer with tens of thousands of pounds cash on the premises.
In a garage, which was being converted into a room, officers noted two mixing bowls, one of which contained cocaine and the other cannabis.
A police dog was brought to the scene and more items were found including a plastic scoop and plastic bags containing white powder, said Simon Driver, prosecuting.
A search also revealed a total of 30 envelopes each containing £1,000 cash with Bradley’s initials on them.
When told about what had been found Bradley said, “yes, it’s social drugs”.
But as well as cocaine and cannabis, a substantial amount of benzocaine, which is used to adulterate cocaine and enhance its profitability on the streets, was also found.
Bradley claimed that a former friend had been staying with him shortly before the police find and that man had been involved in controlled drugs and was possibly in debt.
Mr Driver said that forensic examination shows some of the cocaine was high purity.
He claimed that the 40g of cannabis was also consistent with possession for onward sale.
Mr Driver told the jury that in the circumstances of the case they would be driven to the conclusion that the cash was criminal property.
When first interviewed Bradley made no comment, but when re-interviewed he gave a prepared statement about the former friend’s staying with him and his involvement in controlled drugs.
Bradley was convicted of two drug dealing offences and of concealing criminal property.
Mr Mercer pointed out that as a consequence of his leukaemia, he will find prison very difficult but his concern has always been for his family.