A chef was caught with nearly £100,000-worth of high-purity cocaine in the passenger seat.
Police pulled over Jumoke Brewster’s red Mazda in Iffley Road, Oxford, on November 18 last year.
The 44-year-old ‘wasn’t too happy about the idea of being stopped and had a bit of discussion, shall we say, with the officer who pulled him over’, prosecutor Christopher Pembridge told Oxford Crown Court this week.
As he left the car, Brewster seemed keen to take a bag that had been lying on the passenger seat.
Suspicious, the officers looked inside the bag and saw four large packages of what she believed to be vacuum-packed cannabis. In addition, there was a block wrapped up tight with brown tape that, when later opened and tested, turned out to be 999g of high-purity cocaine.
A further 966g of cannabis was found in a box in the backseat together with £710 in cash in the driver’s door.
Interviewed by detectives, Brewster claimed to have been given the bag by someone he did not name. He said he had not looked in the bag.
Brewster, of Bayswater Road, Barton, had been due to stand trial this week accused of possession with intent to supply class A drugs having already admitted supplying cannabis. On Monday, he pleaded guilty on a basis, with prosecutors accepting his story that he was holding the drugs for another.
The court heard he was given a suspended sentence in 2013 for possession with intent to supply cannabis.
In mitigation, it was said there was ‘no sophistication’ in what he was doing. He was getting £250 to store drugs worth £100,000 and the drugs were on his front passenger seat.
Prior to his incarceration, he had been working as a chef for a decade and lived with his partner and their two-year-old child.
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Jailing him for four-and-a-half years, Judge Nigel Daly said: “This is a comparatively simply offence. You were caught with a lot of drugs in your car. Quite a lot of cannabis – about 1.5kgs altogether. You pleaded guilty to that at the plea and trial preparation hearing and of course you will get credit for that.
“You didn’t plead guilty initially to the cocaine but you have done today on what was to be the day of trial.
“The fact of the matter is there was a kilogramme of cocaine in your possession, you were intending to supply it, you were a custodian so it was going back to the person who gave it to you in the first place. Then it would have gone on up the chain to be supplied to the general public.”
This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.
To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk
Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward