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Gloucestershire Business News

Cocaine dealer arrested for dangerous drug driving

A pedestrian had to leap out of the way when cocaine dealer Karl Gaulder drove dangerously through bollards and over a pavement to escape police in Gloucester, Gloucester Crown Court heard Friday August 20.

Gaulder, 25, of Water Meadow, Quedgeley, was being pursued after a patrolling police officer spotted him using his mobile phone as he drove past St Barnabas church on 6th Dec last year, Gloucester crown court was told.

After driving across a pavement to get from Finlay Road to Selwyn Road and to shake off the police, Gaulder abandoned his vehicle - his father's van - but was arrested shortly afterwards when the officer spotted him walking nearby.

Gaulder threw a packet of cocaine under a nearby van as the officer closed in on him - but after being arrested and handcuffed he was candid about his offending, the court heard.

Gaulder pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, driving with excess cocaine in his blood, dangerous driving, having no insurance, using a hand held mobile phone while driving and having no licence.

He was sentenced to two years jail suspended for two years, banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work as well as 30 days of rehabilitation activities.

The judge, Recorder Malcolm Gibney, told him his behaviour behind the wheel had been 'extraordinarily reckless' and he could have killed someone.

Recorder Gibney said Gaulder had made bad decisions that day - but his worst decision had been to start using cocaine and building up a £300-£400 a day habit.

This led him to deal in the drug to fund his own habit - and to drive his father's vehicle that day because he had woken up late for work after a drug 'bender' the night before, the judge said.

The prosecutor told the court that at the start of the chase Gaulder had ignored a keep left sign and driven to the right of it when traffic lights were red.

He then drove up onto a pedestrian walkway where cars are banned and went through bollards and over a pavement. A pedestrian was forced to take evasive action to avoid being hit.

The pursuing officer decided it was not safe to follow Gaulder so instead he drove down the road and turned into Selwyn rd where he saw Gaulder walking and speaking into his phone at the junction with Reservoir road.

"The defendant was seen to throw a small package under a van," the prosecutor said. "He was arrested and handcuffed. The van driver moved his vehicle forward and the bag was retrieved. It contained 18.7grams of cocaine.

"The defendant volunteered that he had scales and snap bags in his possession. They were taken from his trouser pocket. His mobile phone was also seized.

"The pedestrian who had jumped out of the way then walked up and confronted the defendant but declined to assist the police further. The defendant volunteered that he had no driving licence and he told the officer where he had put the van and handed him the keys.

"A drug test showed he had 80mcgs of cocaine in his system. The legal limit for driving is 50mcgs." Sarah Jenkins, defending, said that although a prison sentence was inevitable for Gaulder's offences it would be realistic to suspend it because there were good prospects of his rehabilitation.

There were references before the court to show that he had stopped using cocaine after 'a lengthy and heavy habit' and that he had a good job, a relationship, and had stayed out of trouble since his arrest.

Gaulder's decision to drive that day had been in panic when he realised he was late for work and he regretted it, she added.

Passing sentence the judge told Gaulder he hoped he had learnt a 'salutary lesson' from the events of that day.

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