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? Drugs stash lands stabbed burglary victim in the dock.

POLICE arrested a battered burglary victim when they found his stash of drugs at his home.

The burglars had stabbed Jason Cooper, 40, in the eye and also smashed him over the head with a weapon.

that he had nothing but praise for the Cleveland Police officers who comforted and cared for him after the raiders had fled.

They also arranged for his transport to hospital but, when he returned home as Scenes of Crime officers searched for clues, Cooper was caught out, said prosecutor Ian Dunn.

When they asked him to go to the police station to make a statement about the attack he folded his jacket as if he was trying to hide something and he passed it to his partner, Teesside Crown Court was told.

There were 11 silver foil wraps of cannabis resin in a jacket pocket, another three wraps in his jeans, a glasses case holding cannabis bush, a set of scales with traces of cannabis and a carpet knife blade, and pounds 64 in cash.

Cooper claimed in interview that the drugs were all for his own use, and that the blade was for repairing a window, added Mr Dunn.

Cooper had 28 convictions for 64 offences, 11 involving drugs.

He had served a 12-month jail sentence in 2006 for possession with intent to supply cannabis, and in 2009 he was given 44 weeks' jail suspended for two years for possession of heroin and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

In May this year Hartlepool magistrates fined him for possession of cannabis and amphetamines.

Cooper told police that he paid pounds 70 for the cannabis discovered on July 11 last year and he had been using the drug for 27 years.

He said he would have sold some to friends if they had asked, and any profit would have paid for his own habit.

Mr Dunn told the judge: "The Crown say that he obviously plays a significant role in drugs, obviously in a small quantity." Nigel Soppitt, defending, said that Cooper was grateful to the police for caring for him after his ordeal.

He was a heroin addict but he weaned himself off the Class A drug, and he admits that he still uses a bit of cannabis.

The judge, Recorder David Dobbin, told Cooper that his offences crossed the custody threshold.

The judge said: "If you re-offend you will be back before the court and you will end up in prison. It's a last chance for you."

Cooper, formerly of Middlesbrough, now of Topcliffe Street, Hartlepool, was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis resin with intent to supply, possession of cannabis bush and having an article with a blade.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 27, 2012
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