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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Man spared jail due to mum’s 'extremely moving' letter to court

A loving mother helped keep her drug-dependent son out of prison by writing an “extremely moving” letter to the judge.

Alexander David Jenkinson, 29, could have been sent back to jail, even though he had already spent several months in custody on remand waiting for his case to be dealt with.

But his mum, Margaret Jenkinson, assured his freedom by writing the letter explaining how he had been driven to taking drugs by a problematic brain complaint.

Mrs Jenkinson was sitting in the public gallery at Carlisle Crown Court as the judge, Recorder Paul Lawton, suspended the prison sentence that everyone agreed was “inevitable”.

And at the end of the hearing he turned to her and thanked her for what she had done.

The court heard that Jenkinson, who used to live in Whernside, Morton, was found with 14 rocks of cocaine when police searched his house in May.

He pleaded guilty to possessing the class A drug with intent to supply it, but he insisted he would only have sold it to a few of his friends at cost price.

He would have used most of it himself, especially on or around his birthday, he said as part of a plea agreed between his defence and the prosecution.

He also admitted dishonestly handling a mountain bike and a motorcycle, both of which had been stolen by someone else.

In mitigation, defence barrister Greg Hoare said Jenkinson had been plagued by “a difficulty he had with his brain”, which though initially misdiagnosed, had eventually led to surgery.

“He suffered difficulties both before and after the operation and used drugs to help him,” Mr Hoare said.

The judge told Jenkinson he accepted the reasons why he had turned to drugs.

“Through your traumatic and complex medical background you became immersed in the drug culture in Carlisle, and that in turn led you to sometimes supply drugs to your friends,” he said.

But he said it was also clear that Jenkinson, who had five previous convictions for handling stolen goods, was seen as “someone who is a local fence, willing to buy stolen goods at short notice”.

He told him: “You need to address all these issues and try to change your way of life because if you don’t you will only find yourself back in these courts again.”

Jenkinson was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and put under an electronically-tagged curfew which will keep him indoors at home from 9pm to 7am every night for the next 16 weeks.

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