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Gloucestershire Business News

Sex offender caught running on-line drugs business

Drug using sex offender, Benjamin Thompson, was hauled before a judge at Gloucester Crown Court after importing drugs from Pakistan to sell on.

Thompson, 39, of Park Road, admitted failing to notify of a change an address, which is a requirement of his sex offender registration.

He also admitted importing 3,000 Diazepam tablets from Pakistan on February 8 last year, and seven offences of offering to supply class C drugs to various individuals between 13th February and March 7, 2017.

He was given a 27-month prison term at Gloucester Crown Court

The offending placed him in breach of a suspended prison sentence that was imposed on 11th March 2016 for possession of indecent images.

Prosecutor, Philip Warren, told Judge Michael Cullum, a parcel from Pakistan was intercepted at a "logistics centre" in Berkshire last February.

That consignment contained 3,000 Diazepam tablets, which was destined for Thompson, the prosecutor said.

When he was arrested for the matter of fraudulent evasion of the prohibition of importation of Diazepam, his mobile phone was seized.

Mr Warren said analysis of that phone showed conversations that Thompson was having with various individuals through a website,

Mr Warren said that Thompson had claimed "I was off my head. I was chatting absolute rubbish."

But the prosecutor pointed out: "His messages were entirely coherent and gave clear instructions for payment."

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Turning to the offence of failing to notify a change of address as required by his sex offender registration, Mr Warren said that officers went to Thompson's registered address on July 5 last year, and someone else was living there.

"He had been evicted in June," Mr Warren said. "He had been asked to leave, because he was smoking a lot of crack cocaine."

Thompson disclosed his new address to the police on July 17, and said he had been of no fixed abode since about June 24 until July 14.

The prosecutor told the judge that Thompson had 46 previous convictions for 93 offences, with: "a wide range of offences committed."

Representing Thompson, Mark Sharman said "He has an entrenched drug habit which has blighted him for 20 years.

"His lifestyle has been chaotic for the last 20 years," he said but added "He is an intelligent, articulate man.

"It is clear he offered to supply drugs, but is adamant that no supplies actually took place.

"He accepts he imported 3,000 tablets of Diazepam, to alleviate his withdrawal cravings from class A drugs.

"He lied to himself about how much he would take of that drug," Mr Sharman continued.

The barrister said that after Thompson's partner "took her own life, he lost focus on his responsibilities such as the notification requirements."

"But it is not the first breach of orders," the judge interjected. "He is somewhat manipulative of the system."

Mr Sharman said "he accepts he is someone who didn't know whether he was coming or going, or what day of the week it was. That is not an excuse.

"He knows full well he faces a custodial sentence, but he asks for a final chance. He knows his life must change," Mr Sharman concluded.

Sentencing Thompson to a 27 month jail term, the judge said "you have an unenviable list of previous convictions. Acquisitive offences, sex offences, drug offences and breaches of orders.

"You are clearly an intelligent man, but you have chosen to use that to be manipulative."

The judge said that he had seen Thompson on periodic reviews in court of his previous drug rehabilitation requirement, and felt that he had 'ducked and dived' throughout.

"I have no doubt it was your continued class A addiction that led you to import 3,000 Diazepam tablets.

"In my judgement they were clearly not just for you. You were part of a web offering a large variety of class C drugs.

It has to be immediate custody."

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