A man who took up bodybuilding in an attempt to improve himself ended up a cocaine addict, a court has heard.
Patrick Ryan used steroids as part of his hobby and initially used the Class A drug cocaine to try and combat fatigue.
In the end, he had the illegal substance in his Barrow flat, for onward supply to others, in the hope of subsiding his drug habit.
Preston Crown Court heard that police searched Ryan’s flat on Cambridge Street, on November 27, last year. He managed to run out the front door after the police turned up that tea time.
Mr Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, told Thursday’s hearing that during a search of the kitchen, a number of plastic containers, some containing protein powder, were found on top of a cabinet.
A quantity of cocaine was also recovered, with a street value of around £2,000. A total of £1,250 cash was found, some of it in a car. The defendant handed himself in at a police station, three days later, on November 30.
In police interview, he admitted that he had been a regular cocaine user for some 18 months. He said his habit was out of control. He denied wrapping it to sell, said the prosecution.
Mr Gareth James, defending, said his client had been constantly wanting to improve his body.
Mr James said: “His determination to improve his body led him to take up bodybuilding, which in turn led him to take steroids.
“Among their effects can be fatigue. The defendant started to take cocaine to address fatigue and became addicted to cocaine. That led him to behave in the way he did to address his own addiction.”
Among other documents, the judge considered letters from the Cumbrian drug intervention programme and an organisation called Addiction Dependency Solutions.
Mr James said: “Since his arrest he has sought appropriate help. He has been seeking to address the misuse of drugs in his life.
“The defendant is effectively of good character. This is perhaps one of those rare cases where the court can step back from passing an immediate prison sentence.
“He has been on an electronically monitored curfew from 6pm-7am, since the 9th of February.”
Ryan, 31, pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing cocaine with intent to supply and another of obstructing a police officer who was executing powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
He was given 12 months prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision and six months drug rehabilitation.
Judge Michael Byrne agreed that it was one of the rare cases where there had been no attempt to conceal the level of the defendant’s involvement and the shock about where it was leading had led Ryan to demonstrate that he can change his habit and lifestyle.
“In my view, the best protection of the public from people who have drugs with intent to supply, is to remove their own addiction.”
The judge also told Ryan: “One thing which is clear to me, unlike 95 per cent of drug addicts who stand in that dock, is that you had the force of character to do something about it.
“Goodwill and a genuine intent to change is never enough, except in rare cases. You have demonstrated you are capable of reforming your own life.”