'Cancer scare' man Roger Bishop jailed over drug dealing
A 66-year-old man has been jailed for seven years for selling drugs after becoming hooked on cocaine when he feared he was dying from cancer.
Roger Bishop began using the drug to "make himself feel better", Preston Crown Court heard.
But he ran up a large debt to his suppliers, and subsequently began selling Class A drugs near his home in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.
Bishop was arrested after making a drug run to Liverpool.
His vehicle was stopped on the M55 on August 31 last year and found to contain around half a kilo of heroin, along with cutting agents.
The court heard the powder could have made street deals worth £175,000.
Bishop, of Chester Avenue, Poulton-le-Fylde, admitted one charge of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and another of possessing heroin with intent to supply.
The court heard Bishop wrongly believed he was terminally ill.
Julie Taylor, defending, said: "He had lost a lot of weight and convinced himself he was dying, that he had cancer or some sort of illness to cause his dramatic weight loss.
"Rather unusually, he began to take cocaine occasionally on a social basis. It made him feel better. He thought he was dying, in any event.
"He became hooked and very quickly ran up a substantial debt with drug dealers which resulted in him himself dealing cocaine on eight occasions."
Sentencing Bishop, Judge Michael Byrne said: "This is a very sad and tragic case. The defendant had led a previous exemplary life.
"So long as this defendant, like so many others, remained in debt to his own suppliers they had a hold over him to do their bidding."