When a Scarborough single parent lost his benefits through no fault of his own he jumped at the chance of earning £50.
However, York Crown Court heard on Wednesday that the money turned out to be for storing drugs, including cocaine, leading to Rocky Chapman appearing for sentence on two charges of possession of drugs with intent to supply and one of possession.
When staff at his local benefits office held Chapman, 45, of Herborough Road, Eastfield, responsible for breaking a window in their building they stopped his benefits for 11 weeks.
This left Chapman r without income until CCTV footage proved that the window was broken in a genuine accident.
So when someone offered the desperate father £50 to store a package he took the money and, said Glenn Parsons, mitigating, although he suspected it may contain drugs, he had no idea what they were.
Richard Butters, prosecuting, told how police raided Chapman’s home on October 8 last year and he showed them where the drugs were, quantities of cocaine, M/CAT and amphetamines, with a street value of £550 being recovered.
The court heard that Chapman had a record of two unrelated offences going back in excess of 20 years.
Mr Parsons told the court that Chapman was thoroughly ashamed at getting involved, realising that what he had done could have serious consequences for not only himself, but also for his daughter.
Passing sentence, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that normally anyone involved in any way in the supply chain of Class A drugs could normally expect an immediate custodial sentence.
However, he said in this case there was just enough scope to allow Chapman to retain his liberty, but warned him that any breach of the court order which was being imposed could have a serious effect on him and his daughter.
Chapman was sentenced to 12 months custody, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work.
On leaving the dock Chapman thanked the judge and said “You won’t see me again.”