The jailing of a former charity worker and carer is a “stark lesson” to anyone tempted to try heroin, the Royal Court has said.
Sending 46-year-old UK resident Jon Manning to prison for three-and-a-half years, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith said that Manning had enjoyed a “productive and social” life but had become addicted to the Class A drug within three days of trying it for the first time eight years ago.
It was to feed this addiction that Manning attempted to import the drug through the post while on a two-week visit to Jersey that had inadvertently extended by a week because of last year’s winter lockdown.
Without any means of sourcing heroin locally, Manning turned to associates in the UK to send him personal quantities of the drug, which were intercepted by Customs officers at postal headquarters last November.
Manning was jailed for importing 2.4g of heroin in two packages and 112 mg of methadone, another Class A opiate, in another.
Although the heroin had a street value of £2,500, the Crown accepted that the drugs were for personal use only.
Defending Manning, Advocate Julian Gollop said that his client had come from a respectful family and had worked for the Post Office, a commercial bank and two charities before giving up work to care for his dying father and grandfather.
But after discovering that his partner of 20 years had been using money he had given her to secretly buy heroin, he decided to try it himself.
Advocate Gollop said: “My client thought: ‘I have been paying for this heroin all these years, I might try what it is like’. Three days later, he was hooked and became a functioning addict, smoking small amounts on a daily basis.”
After that relationship broke up, Manning met a Jersey-based woman who, like him, had been a palliative carer and was also an addict.
The pair were in the early days of a relationship when she invited him to the Island to help her care for the person she supported. The methadone was bought for the girlfriend, who was initially arrested and charged alongside Manning.
However, the case against his now ex-partner was discontinued in April.
Advocate Gollop said that Manning was now clean of drugs and was determined to start a new chapter in his life.
“The past ten months on remand has been the longest period in the last eight years that my client has been clean,” he said.
“His life of addiction is not one that he wants to return to, and he will take that positivity with him when he is released.
“His concern now is the health of his mother, and he intends to return to England and cut all ties with his past life and those he could get drugs from.”
Commissioner Clyde-Smith, who was sitting with Jurats Rozanne Thomas, Robert Christensen and Kim Averty said: “This case is a stark lesson to anyone tempted to try heroin. The defendant was hooked within three days of trying it and was addicted for eight years after that.
“However, he has seen this prosecution as an opportunity to free himself of that addiction. He has achieved this and is optimistic for the future.”
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