Addict caught in police sting

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A DRUG addict was caught out by an undercover drugs operation targeting the Fleetwood area.

Robert Bainbridge twice supplied amphetamine to a man who was in fact a policeman deployed in the town to make test purchases of drugs.

On a third occasion he offered to supply him with amphetamine.

Bainbridge went on to be arrested as part of the investigation known as Operation Goldfinch.

The 47-year-old of Southwood Avenue, Fleetwood was given a suspended prison sentence when he appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Bainbridge pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying the Class B drug, plus one offence of offering to supply amphetamine.

Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, said the operation was carried out in November and December last year. A test purchaser known as John was deployed in Fleetwood.

On November 16 the policeman came into contact with another man and was later approached by the defendant that afternoon. The officer confirmed that he wanted to have £20 of amphetamine.

He handed over some money and Bainbridge went to an address before handing over a bag of white powder.

The second offence arose on December 6. The officer was in Lord Street, Fleetwood when a man approached and asked if he was after some “whizz”.

The defendant approached and asked the policeman what he wanted. It was agreed they would go to an address, but the officer said he would go elsewhere and left Bainbridge’s company.

Finally, on December 7, the defendant entered a home on Hatfield Road. The officer asked for some “whizz” and Bainbridge later returned with a bag of amphetamine.

He was later arrested and picked out on an ID procedure. His address was searched, but no drugs were found.

He had 55 previous offences on his record, though none for drug trafficking.

Waheed Omran-Baber, defending, told the court Bainbridge took full responsibility for his actions. He had a long standing drug addiction, lasting at least 20 years.

The barrister said “On and off he has tried to voluntarily seek help. He is now back with Addaction. He is making some progress, but it is accepted it has waned.”

Bainbridge had not worked since sustaining a hand injury during employment in the building industry. He was given 36 weeks prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision, six months drug rehabilitation and a 12 weeks long curfew, to run from 9pm-6am each night.