A man convicted of aiding and abetting a Liverpool criminal to supply crack cocaine in North Wales – described by a judge as a vile trade - has been jailed for five years and four months.
A court heard how the finger prints of defendant John Joseph Foster, aged 32, were found on the plastic packaging of the class A drugs in a caravan at Lido Beach Caravan Park at Prestatyn back in June, 2015.
Another man who was on the run at the time – Jake Smith – was hiding in the caravan and he was later jailed for six and a half years for possessing the crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.
It was part of a 15 year sentence Smith later received at Preston Crown Court for other offences including robbery, blackmail, false imprisonment, and inflicting GBH with intent.
Mold Crown Court heard how Foster’s finger prints were found on the packaging of the crack cocaine, worth some £13,000 on the streets.
But Foster was not arrested until July of this year when police stopped a car in Parliament Street in Liverpool, and wanted to book him for failing to wear a seat belt, explained prosecuting barrister Karl Scholz.
He gave two false names and it was only when a mobile finger print unit was used that his true identity was discovered and he was arrested because he was listed as wanted on PNC for the Prestatyn offence.
Foster denied aiding and abetting the supply of crack cocaine and said he had no idea how his finger prints were found on the packaging.
He said that he had used food bags for sandwiches to take to work and told the jury that Jake Smith’s cousin lived above his brother flat in Liverpool.
His brother used to be a chef and he could have touched some food bags.
Defending barrister Alaric Walmsley said that his client had been working and it was his case that he had nothing to do with the cocaine that had been discovered in Wales.
The jury was told that Foster had a conviction in September 2008 for possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told Foster that that in September 2008 he had received a 32 month sentence for possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply.
He was now to be sentenced for the possession of some £13,000 worth of crack cocaine which was destined to be supplied in North Wales.
It was found in a caravan in Prestatyn and Jake Smith, who had been arrested at that time, was jailed for six and a half years on a guilty plea, part of an overall larger sentence for other serious offending.
But Foster could have no credit for a guilty plea.
“It is plain that you were playing a role in the onward supply of class A drugs from Liverpool into North Wales.
“The consequences of this vile trade is all too apparent unfortunately, not only to those addicted but also to the wider community who have to deal with the consequences with offences of dishonesty and violence.”
Foster, the judge said, decided to take a risk – as he had taken a chance to try and deceive the jury over his involvement.
Judge Rowlands said that he accepted that the defendant had a daughter aged four and therefore prison would be difficult for him, and that there had been a gap in time since his last offending.