A Morecambe drug dealer with a criminal record spanning 22 pages carried on selling amphetamine after being caught red-handed, a court heard.
But despite having 118 offences to his name and a long history of prison sentences and failed community penalties, Christopher Greenhalgh, 35, walked free from court when the judge heard he was ready to turn a corner.
Preston Crown Court heard Greenhalgh has been addicted to the class B drug since he was a teenager and barely a day has passed that he has not used drugs. But at his 40th court sentencing appearance the Judge Graham Knowles said he accepted Greenhalgh had finally reached a level of maturity where he was able to tackle his drug use – and the crimes he has committed to support it.
Handing down a suspended sentence, he said: “If anyone sends you to prison, it will be yourself.”
The court heard how the father-of-five had been selling amphetamine from his home in Chatsworth Road, Morecambe, when Lancashire police officers executed a drugs warrant on January 12 2015.
They seized amphetamines with a street value of £860, 280 diazepam tablets and 1.15g of cocaine, worth £60.
Greenalgh was arrested and bailed but, a further search of his home in June revealed £490 of amphetamine, £280 of cannabis and 1.41g of MDMA, which he claimed was for personal use.
Greenhalgh pleaded guilty to four counts of possession with intent to supply and two counts of simple possession in respect of the drugs found during the two raids.
But the court heard since his arrest he has discovered his daughter has started taking drugs and he has started to view things in a different light.
He has also seen peers die and one friend have a pacemaker fitted as the result of long term drug abuse.
Judge Knowles said: “He is 35 being sentenced for the 40th time with 118 previous offences on his record.
“It is a pretty wretched state of affairs.
“Having been bailed for possession of amphetamines with intent to supply this defendant committed exactly the same offence again.
“However he is complying with his current community order and he has been doing unpaid work – not the simple activity it may be for many due to the state of his health brought about by years of intravenous amphetamine abuse.”
He handed Greenhalgh an 18-month sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to take part in six-month rehabilitation program.
He also made an order for the drugs to be destroyed.