Recovering drug addict caught with knife

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A recovering drug addict who was caught by police with a knife in his car was also convicted for driving without insurance and a licence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, February 24, how Gareth Wheeldon, 33, of Sandbed Lane, Belper, was spotted having fallen asleep in the car on Whitemoor Lane, Belper, with drugs paraphernalia so police searched the vehicle.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “It was about half-past-midnight when police saw the car parked outside a cash machine and Wheeldon was asleep in the driver’s seat and police could see drugs paraphernalia.

“The vehicle was searched and a four-inch fixed blade was found in the glove box of the car.”

Wheeldon also confirmed to police he had driven the car when he was only a provisional licence holder and he had no insurance.

He explained to officers that he used the knife when he went fishing and he had put it in the car glove box rather than keep it in his coat.

Wheeldon pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in public, using a vehicle without insurance and to driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence after the incident on January 14.

Defence solicitor David Gittins said: “Mr Wheeldon has long-term drug problems.

“His dad tries to keep him out of bother and they go fishing together and Mr Wheeldon knew he had the knife in a coat so he put it in the glove box of the vehicle and forgot.

“The car had also run out of fuel so he had filled a can of petrol and left this at a safe distance and wanted his dad to come and he fell asleep.”

The court heard how Wheeldon is on a methadone prescription and is seeking help with Addaction in his struggle to overcome drugs.

Magistrates sentenced Wheeldon to a 12 month community order with rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation requirements and 40 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

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