Coke dealer’s WhatsApp chat lifts lid on true nature of ‘friends’

The true extent of a cocaine dealer's business was revealed today in Whatsapp messages and texts.

Christopher Rae was previously locked up after being caught with 30 wraps of cocaine in his underpants.

At the time, prosecutors accepted Rae, of good character, had only dealt to "friends and friends of friends".

Defence lawyers said he started dealing because he built up gambling debts and became addicted to cocaine.

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His devastated mum sobbed in court as the then 21-year-old was jailed for two years and four months.

But he was back before the same judge today over another case of him selling Class A drugs.

Christopher Rae, 21, admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply

And the contents of his Apple iPhone lifted the lid on how he was also preparing cocaine for these "friends".

Rae, now 22, of Mallee Crescent, Southport first came to the attention of police on December 19, 2018.

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Liverpool Crown Court heard officers saw a black Ford Focus driving "erratically" in the town at around 2am, but were busy dealing with another incident.

Jo Maxwell, prosecuting, said they spotted the same car at 2.45am, but when they tried to stop it, Rae "made off at a high speed".

He drove into a "dead end" and abandoned the unlocked vehicle – half on a patch of grass and half on the road – but was caught nearby.

Rae was initially arrested on suspicion of unlawful taking of the car, because it wasn't his, but a bag of cocaine was then found near the driver's door.

He denied any knowledge of the bag, but a further three wraps were found in one of his socks, along with a mobile phone, and he also had £935 in cash.

Ms Maxwell said a search of Rae's home didn't reveal anything, but the phone – which received a series of calls from unidentified numbers – did.

She said there were three "digital tick lists" in the notes section and a message made reference to "crushing a bag of flake whilst his parents were out".

The WhatsApp message read: "Hope my mum drives my dad to work so I can crush this other bag of flake."

A police expert said this was Rae stating he would be preparing cocaine for supply, while text messages were indicative of requests for drugs and him supplying them, including one which read: "I've got three on me but this bird wants two."

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The expert said the four wraps of cocaine – cut with benzocaine and tetramisole – weighed 0.7g in total, with an estimated street value of up to £70.

Rae was released under investigation but three weeks later – on January 12 last year – police stopped him again, this time driving along Southport Promenade.

He was found to have 17.12g of cocaine, worth up to £1,712, which he admitted possessing with intent to supply, and that case was brought to court first.

Rae was jailed for 28 months on December 11 last year.

However, he was not charged over the prior offence of possessing cocaine with intent to supply, which he also admitted, until April this year.

This was due to an 11-month police investigation, which included phone, drug and vehicle analysis, before the case was sent to the CPS.

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Judge Denis Watson, QC, branded this "poor efficiency in the police in pursuing their enquiries, unacceptably so".

The judge said he had to consider whether this second offence would have made a difference to Rae's original sentence.

Ms Maxwell said the messages were in keeping with Rae's past assertion he only dealt to "friends and friends of friends".

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Judge Watson said: "£935 is perhaps the hurdle that might have caused a number of people to stop [and think] about that. It's a lot of wealthy friends."

The court heard Rae claimed this included £400 he was given by his dad before Christmas and betting winnings, but he didn't oppose the money being forfeited.

David Woods, defending, said his client started selling drugs to friends to fund his cocaine habit and gambling.

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He said: "It would appear it perhaps had gone a little bit further than that, but in my respectful submission, not much further."

Mr Woods said Rae had addressed his two addictions in prison and on his release would return to the family home, start a new job and continue counselling.

He said Rae was a "model prisoner" and had been set to be released on home curfew in September, but because of this new charge had been returned from a facility with open conditions, back to HMP Altcourse.

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Mr Woods said Rae "bitterly regretted" his actions and urged Judge Watson to impose a concurrent prison sentence.

The judge said he bore in mind the principle of totality and the delays in the case, but gave him an 11-month consecutive jail sentence, which will extend his time in prison by around five and a half months.