Birthday cocaine lands Harrogate man in court

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic14.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic14.

A MAN who bought cocaine for use at a party to celebrate his 21st birthday found himself in court after a police raid on his home.

Harrogate magistrates heard on Tuesday how police executed a search warrant at the home of Maxi Henry Franks in Redfearn Mews, Harrogate, on February 29, just three days after his birthday.

Prosecutor Steven Ovenden said officers had found cocaine worth £40 and when asked about the drug Franks had said he didn’t know where he got it from.

When Franks pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug Mr Ovenden said police had initially deemed the offence suitable for out of court disposal, but when his record of previous convictions was studied the stance changed.

It was learned that Franks was subject to a 12-month prison sentence handed down by York Crown Court in January for affray and suspended for a year while he carried out 150 hours of unpaid work and abided by a curfew.

In mitigation Andrew Tinning said the court had the choice of either sending Franks to crown court for sentence because of the breach of the suspended imprisonment edict or dealing with him for the drug possession separately. If the latter course was chosen it was likely the crown court would want to see Franks because of the breach.

Mr Tinning contended that because the cocaine charge was a wholly different offence from those which had been before the judge, he could be sentenced by magistrates.

Franks had bought cocaine as a way of celebrating his coming of age. Because of his curfew he had to hold his party at home and there had been some of the drug left when police came calling.

Mr Tinning said Franks was doing well on the community element of the suspended sentence. He had done 105 of the unpaid work hours though there had been some recent problems over his not turning up for appointments.

This had been because a friend was in a coma at Leeds General Infirmary and Franks had been spending considerable time at his bedside. ‘‘There have been issues with probation as to whether that is an appropriate reason for missing appointments.’’

Mr Tinning said in recent times out-of-work Franks had been applying for numerous jobs. He had secured an interview with a local engineering firm for next week, but his court appearance might harm his prospects of winning the job.

Franks was fined £100 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge and warned to expect contact from York Crown Court.