A “final Christmas blowout” before the birth of his first child turned into a drug-fuelled calamity for a 23-year-old Mansfield man.
For while his pregnant girlfriend sat at home, the man was “stuffing cocaine up his nose”, a judge told Nottingham Crown Court.
Marlon Voce, of Abbott Road, was arrested outside the Industria bar on Leeming Street, Mansfield at 9.20 pm on Saturday, December 19.
Staff at the bar had called the police after becoming concerned that a customer was involved with drugs, said David Allan, prosecuting.
And when officers detained Voce, he was found to have five deal-bags containing three grams of cocaine with a purity of 18%, plus an iPhone and £175 in cash.
“In interview, he said he had bought the cocaine for £30 per bag and that it was for his own consumption,” said Mr Allan.
“He said he didn’t sell drugs but, when pressed, he said he was going to a party where he might supply lines to friends.”
Felicity Campbell, mitigating, disclosed that Voce and his partner had just had a young child since the offence.
“This was Christmas time and he went out for one final blowout before the birth,” said Miss Campbell.
“However, the case has been a wake-up call, and he hasn’t touched cocaine since. His family are in court, and he is not proud of himself.”
Voce was originally charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply. But this was dismissed and, instead, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession.
This followed evidence which revealed he had been interviewed by police only half an hour after being arrested when he was “still drunk and under the influence of drugs”. Therefore, the reliability of what he told them could not be guaranteed.
Judge Stuart Rafferty expressed his concern and urged the Crown Prosecution Service to press for “a full explanation” as to why Voce was treated in such a way.
Nevertheless, he was still scathing of Voce’s behaviour, telling him: “Sometimes I think the streets of Britain are full of idiots like you who think class A drugs are a recreational joke. In fact, they destroy lives and could have destroyed yours.
“If your interview had been admissable, you would have become a class A drug-dealer, at a stroke, and facing a prison sentence of three to seven years. That’s how dicey all this is. It is not fun.
“I don’t believe you are a bad person. You seem to come from a good family, who must be mortified that you are here in court. But if you had been caught drunkenly supplying one of your friends, that would have been enough. You wouldn’t have been on thin ice, you would have been through it. What about your partner and child then? Your life would have been wrecked.”
Voce, who works at a glass manufacturing factory, was fined £500.