Addict sold prescription drugs to feed habit - The Rugby Observer

Addict sold prescription drugs to feed habit

Rugby Editorial 25th Nov, 2019   0

AN ADDICT who was cycling around ‘knocking out’ an array of different drugs to other users to feed his own habit has been jailed.

Matthew Keating had pleaded guilty to possessing the class A drugs morphine and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl with intent to supply them.

He also admitted possessing skunk cannabis with intent to supply it and three charges of possessing class C prescription drugs, temazepam, diazepam and nitrazepam, with intent to supply.

Keating, 43, of Lawford Road, Rugby, appeared at Coventry Crown Court where he was jailed for three years and four months.




Prosecutor John Brotherton said that in August last year police officers in an unmarked car in New Bilton saw Keating on a cycle with another man walking alongside him.

They stopped in an alleyway where another man, a known drug-user, approached Keating and an exchange took place.


Keating was arrested, and the officers found he had a large quantity of prescription tablets and four one-gram deals of cannabis.

At his home, the police discovered morphine, diazepam, nitrazepam and temazepam tablets worth up to £287, an inactive cannabis factory, and another 100 grams of cannabis worth £600.

When he was questioned, Keating, who had a previous conviction for producing cannabis, claimed he and others had pooled resources to obtain prescription tablets.

Alexander Barber, defending, said: “He is no longer in the grip of addiction. Since being arrested he has done what he can to address his addiction.”

He said Keating’s addiction to pain-killers had come about following dental surgery in 2015 when his tooth shattered and he was prescribed opiates which triggered his previous addiction to heroin.

“He was then no longer able to get those prescription painkillers because they believed he was abusing them and the GP’s surgery banned him from receiving painkillers.

“There was an exchange of drugs going on, it was not just for payment. It wasn’t street dealing, he was doing this to obtain the painkillers he couldn’t get from his GP,” said Mr Barber.

But Judge Andrew Lockhart QC commented: “But he’s got a vast quantity of these painkillers, and he’s knocking them out to other people. He’s out on the street, he’s dealing – how is that not street dealing?”

Mr Barber, who urged the judge to pass a suspended sentence, replied: “This was not an enterprise run to make money, but to fuel his addiction to painkillers.”

He added that Keating, who was the sole carer for his bed-bound mother, cooking, cleaning and shopping for her, was ‘petrified at the prospect of custody.’

Jailing Keating, Judge Lockhart told him: “You have a very poor record, 23 convictions for 43 offences. By mid-2018 you were back and in the supply chain of controlled drugs.

“I have no doubt this is a case of street dealing.”

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