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Cocaine ring squaddie spared jail because of army service after acting as drug middle man

A WAR veteran who was a middle man in cocaine drug deals was spared jail by a judge for his 17 years of Armyrats © military service.

Cocaine Ring Squaddie Spared Jail Because Of Army Service After Acting As Drug Middle ManSWNS/GETTY

SPARED: Andrew Barnard walked from Birmingham Crown Court as the judge cited his army ecord

Staff Sergeant Andrew Barnard, 34, served in Afghanistan and Iraq and the court heard he was a respected career soldier. The veteran faced being kicked out of the army without his pension after 17 years of service. But Recorder Benjamin Nicholls spared Barnard prison in a bid to save the squaddie’s career when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court.

Barnard, who served with the Communication Information Systems Division in the army, pleaded guilty to a charge of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs

He admitted to helping his pal Kenneth Bain, 32, sell coke to a group of friends on sex occasions between September and December 2014. The judge said he was prepared to step outside the “guidelines in the interests of justice” to take into account his case.

Cocaine Ring Squaddie Spared Jail Because Of Army Service After Acting As Drug Middle ManSWNS

COCAINE: Barnard (suit) put people in touch with Bain

When someone serves their country in that way the country owes an obligation to him

Recorder Benjamin Nicholls

Cops discovered evidence on mobile phones revealing numerous messages between Barnard and Bain which suggested the pair were dealing drugs. In a group on WhatsApp called “The Boys”, Bain mocked customers who complained about the strength of the drugs he was selling.

He posted; “I can’t believe some people complain about stuff not being strong enough, now they complain it’s too strong LOL.”

Cocaine Ring Squaddie Spared Jail Because Of Army Service After Acting As Drug Middle ManGETTY

MILITARY: The Staff Sergeant’s record was hailed by the judge

Police raided the Barnard and Bain s home addresses on December 13, 2014 after receiving intelligence they were dealing in cocaine. Officers found nearly an ounce of the Class A drug, cutting agents, digital scales, lock-seal bags and a small amount of cannabis at Bain’s property. When cops raided Barnard’s home they found luxury vehicles and questioned whether he would have been able to afford them on his army salary alone

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    Bain, of Wordsley, near Stourbridge, admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cannabis.

    He was also spared jail after the judge heard he fell into drugs after being shot while working as a doorman. Bain, who was described as a skilled tradesman, was handed a two year prison sentence suspended for a year with supervision. He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.

    Recorder Nicholls added: “Those who get involved in the supply of Class A drugs and other people should not take any encouragement from this sentence.

    “It is passed because of what I consider to be the highly unusual factors of this case.”

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