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Wheel deal for accused
8:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
A JUDGE questioned why an injured drug dealer could not get to court in his wheelchair to have his community service quashed, saying ‘that's what the wheels are for’.
Recorder Peter Blair QC was told Luke Thompson was left seriously injured in a car crash and is currently wheelchair bound.
But the judge, sitting at Swindon Crown Court, said: “I have seen people moving in wheelchairs before – that’s what the wheels are for.”
Thompson was ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work when he was put on a suspended sentence in January for possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
But the 23-year-old was involved in the smash in July which left him in hospital for 10 days with serious pelvic injuries.
And though he is now home a judge was told he was still seeing specialists and is unable to put any weight on the damaged area.
Marcus Davey, for the probation service, told the court Thompson had completed 136 of the 250 hours of unpaid work he was ordered to do under the suspended sentence.
He said there was only a small amount of information about what happened to him in the car crash but he had seen a hospital discharge note.
Because he had not attended court he was not able to answer questions about his condition and any prognosis.
The court was also told Thompson, who was first in Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital and then Great Western Hospital, is upset at being questioned about his ability to do the work.
Mr Davey said: “His discharge summary shows he was in hospital for 10 days and it describes his injuries.
“It appears – I have seen a series of e-mails – that perhaps Mr Thompson, because of the injury or not, seems to have taken some grudge with people questioning his ability to undertake unpaid work.
“The view of the probation service is that he cannot undertake it.”
The court was informed that Thompson’s mobility was such that he needed an ambulance to take him to Bristol to see a pelvic specialist.
Agreeing to change the order, the judge said: “Nevertheless the suspended sentence hangs over him, though the likelihood of him reoffending, bearing in mind his current difficulties, is unlikely.
“I will amend the suspended sentence order by the reduction of the hours of unpaid work from 250 hours down to 136 hours thereby wiping off the 114 hours from the original sentence.”
Thomson, of Drakes Way, was put on an eight month jail term suspended for two years on January 11.
He had admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and having criminal property when he was arrested in June last year.
And at a Proceeds of Crime hearing in April it was found his benefit from dealing was £3,845 but he only had £1,695 in realisable assets.