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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jonathan Humphries

Street dealer who smoked cannabis from age 13 caught with knife yet again

A street dealer who smoked cannabis daily from the age of 13 was caught with a knife for the second time in just over a year.

Craig Bakker, then 19, was spotted walking along Poulton Road in Wallasey at around 3pm on December 9 last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard the teenager came to the attention of plain clothes police officers on patrol in the area.

Derek Jones, prosecuting, told the court: "The defendant was by now walking along Sherlock Lane and appeared to be nervous, looking backwards and forwards furtively. Because of that the police decided to stop and talk to the defendant.

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"They got out of the car and approached him and immediately smelled cannabis come from him. The defendant was detained; there was a brief attempt to run away from the officers but they restrained him very quickly as he did so."

Mr Jones said Bakker appeared "visibly shocked and startled" by the sudden appearance of the officers. He was searched and a new looking lock knife with a "very sharp" five inch blade was recovered from his pocket.

In Bakker's left coat pocket the officers found three bags of cannabis, described as two £10 bags and one £20 bag, while they also found a Nokia phone in his pocket, which was unlocked. An officer checked the device and said it was immediately clear it had been used to advertise cannabis and arrange deals.

The phone appeared to have been in use for a number of months, Mr Jones said, although the transactions were for small amounts of the Class B drug. Mr Jones told the court as Bakker was transported back to custody the phone rang around 20 times.

Craig Bakker, jailed for possession of a knife and supplying cannabis in Poulton, Wirral (Merseyside Police)

The phone was later analysed in more detail and was found to have been to send "flare" messages, referring to mass text messages sent to multiple customers advertising different strains of cannabis. Bakker had also used another phone to source ounce deals of cannabis to sell.

Mr Jones said Bakker had been arrested on a Northern Line train service in October 2020, where he had been found in possession of a knife. He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months for that offence.

Bakker gave no comment in his police interview, but admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis when his case arrived in court.

Paul Wood, defending, told the court his client had experienced a very troubled upbringing. He said: "We have many cases coming before this court where drug users become addicted and indebted and start dealing. This is exactly what we have here with this defendant.

"He started smoking cannabis from the age of 13 or 14, and his drug consumption at times was as high as £20 per day."

Mr Wood said Bakker, who was 19 at the time of the offence, has tried to reduce his cannabis intake since his arrest and had not smoked for around two weeks. Mr Wood said: "He is starting to see the benefits of abstention, and the clarity of mind that brings."

Mr Wood said Bakker, who suffered from serious depression, had "absolutely no support" in his life and it was "obvious as the day is long" he needed educational and emotional support.

The court heard Bakker had been attending drug courses in Wirral and gained casual work in a fish and chip shop while on bail. However, he said his client was aware that being caught in possession of a knife for a second time carried a six month mandatory minimum sentence.

The judge, Recorder Eric Lamb, KC, jailed Bakker for six months for being concerned in the supply of cannabis and 146 days consecutively for possession of a knife, making a total of 326 days in prison. Bakker will serve half behind bars before being automatically eligible for release on licence.


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