Pete Doherty jailed for 6 months after admitting cocaine possession
Pete Doherty jailed for six months after admitting crack cocaine possession
4:35 PM on 20th May 2011
Junkie musician Pete Doherty was jailed for six months today after he was caught on film smoking a crack-pipe with heiress Robyn Whitehead just days before her death.
The Babyshambles star, 32, and former boyfriend of model Kate Moss, who was due to be playing a gig in Glasgow tonight, was arrested in January last year by police investigating the suspected overdose death of Miss Whitehead.
The controversial singer, of Camden High Street, North London, has twice been jailed before and has repeatedly admitted possession of class A substances.
Doherty, who pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, leaned forward in his seat as he was sentenced at East London”s Snaresbrook Crown Court but did not show any emotion as he was sentenced for the single count.
However as he was led down to the cells he gave a wave to friends at the back of the courtroom.
Pete Doherty, centre, arrives at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London where he was jailed for possessing class A drugs. He waved to his friends in court as he was led down to the cells
The former boyfriend of model Kate Moss was arrested in January last year by police investigating the death of heiress Robyn Whitehead, pictured
Wearing a grey suit with waistcoat, a navy blue cravat and with a redhandkerchief dangling out his top pocket, Doherty had whispered continually to his co-defendant Peter Wolfe, 42, as the background to the case was read out.
The pair, who were both clean-shaven but looked scruffy and dishevelled, were flanked by three security officers as they sat in the dock in the packed courtroom.
Judge David Radford said Doherty had an “appalling record” of committing offences, having already made 13 other court appearances.
Today”s conviction was his 25th for drug related offences.
It came just a week after it was announced that Doherty would not face any charges over the death of partygoer Mark Blanco.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was “insufficient evidence” to bring any charges over the death of Mr Blanco who was involved in a confrontation with Doherty, his minder and another man at a party shortly before he fell from a balcony in Whitechapel, East London, in 2006.
Doherty”s friend Wolfe, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cocaine and one count of supplying cocaine to Miss Whitehead, was sentenced to a total of 12 months in prison.
Doherty and Wolfe were charged when footage seized by police showed all three smoking crack cocaine on a small, adapted brandy bottle at a flat in Hackney, East London.
The star was seen on the film using a knife to cut from a “white block” before placing the substance on the pipe on January 23, the courtheard.
The previous day Wolfe was recorded smoking from the same pipe before passing it to Miss Whitehead and helping her to light it.
The drugs had been bought by Wolfe on January 22 in East London.
He and Miss Whitehead had travelled to the Hackney flat that day fromher family home under the pretext that she was “looking after” him after his release from a rehabilitation course.
Miss Whitehead, 27, the granddaughter of the late Teddy Goldsmith, founder of The Ecologist magazine, spent the last 10 days of her life making a documentary about Doherty.
The controversial singer, of Camden High Street, North London, has twice been jailed before and has repeatedly admitted possession of class A substances
Her mother, Dido Whitehead, is a cousin of Jemima Khan and Zac Goldsmith and her father is film-maker Peter Whitehead.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan said: “On the Friday night Robyn Whitehead and Peter Wolfe were collected from the station by Miss Whitehead”s ex-boyfriend.
“It was obvious to him that Mr Wolfe was withdrawing from drugs.
SINGER HAS TWICE BEEN JAILED BEFORE
Doherty was first arrested for possessing drugs in October 2005 and since then has repeatedly admitted possession of class A substances.
In 2008, he served 29 days of a 14-week sentence in Wormwood Scrubs prison after being arrested on drugs charges the previous year.
In 2003 Doherty admitted burgling the home of former Libertines bandmate Carl Barat and was sentenced to six months in prison which was later cut to two on appeal.
While his former bandmates were on tour in Japan, Doherty kicked down the door to Barat’s basement flat in Harley Street and stole items including an antique guitar, laptop, video recorder, CD player, harmonica and books.
“During the course of that journey Peter Wolfe said that he needed to score.
“They stopped in Hoxton Market and Mr Wolfe got out and returned a short while later. The assumption being that he had scored.
“The evidence thereafter is recorded on the footage that Miss Whitehead was taking as part of her documentary.
“Miss Morgan passed up a series of still images taken from the video to Judge David Radford showing Wolfe and Miss Whitehead smoking crack cocaine.
“Mr Wolfe was smoking form the small bottle in the photo and that was crack cocaine,” she said.
“A couple of minutes later he was shown to hand that bottle to Miss Whitehead who took the bottle and then Mr Wolfe assisted her to light it.
“Mr Wolfe is then seen again smoking from the pipe.”
The court heard that the footage of Doherty smoking was recorded the following day.
Miss Morgan said: “Mr Wolfe and Miss Whitehead, who had stayed at the address overnight, were joined by Mr Doherty.
“Mr Doherty can be seen to also use the small pipe to smoke crack-cocaine shortly after entering the address.
“He used a knife to cut from a white block, which the Crown says was clearly crack-cocaine. He used the knife and put a small block on the pipe and smoked it.”
Miss Morgan continued that the footage went on for approximately 30minutes after that, during which Doherty was heard to refuse to give Miss Whitehead “a pipe” when she asked for one.
Miss Whitehead”s body was discovered the following day.
Miss Morgan said: “It follows, after careful consideration, no personis to face charges in relation to her death and it cannot be an aggravating feature in respect of sentencing this defendant, albeit a matter of paramount importance for her devastated family and friends.”
Peter Ratliff, defending, said Doherty had been out of trouble for more than a year and claimed his client was afflicted by an addiction but had never sought to “glamorise” the use of drugs.
He said: “Nobody who listens to his lyrics, who reads the diaries he has published or sees the interviews with him could think his life glamorises drug use.
“If independent evidence were needed that this defendant believes being clean is a good thing it comes from the very footage which forms the basis of the charges.”
He argued that jailing Doherty would have an impact upon others “who rely on him” and prevent him contributing a “not insubstantial” amount in tax.
Wolfe”s representative Elaine Stapleton stated that the charge of supplying crack-cocaine fell at the “lowest level” of the spectrum.
Judge Radford said: “The circumstances in which the committal of these offences which I have to deal with today is tragic.
“Police became aware of the relevant evidence because of the investigation which followed the discovery of the sad death of a young woman who had been present at the address where the offences had been committed.
“The offences involved the social supply of crack cocaine in a crack cocaine pipe, which you handed to that person.
“I make it clear though, abundantly clear, that the young woman”s death was not caused by that supply of crack cocaine.
“Unhappily and tragically that woman died from the poisoning of another illegal Class A drug which she had chosen to take.
“The grief and loss to her family and friends caused by her death cannot and should not be sought in any way to be expiated by the sentence I pass today.”
Addressing the troubled singer, the judge said: “There is no doubt that you are a talented and successful musician.
“You have though, an appalling record of committing offences of the same kind as I have to deal with on this occasion.”
He added that Doherty should receive the “appropriate penalty” regardless of his career.
He sentenced Wolfe to two lots of four months and one of 12 months for each of his three charges, to run concurrently.
Miss Whitehead”s family, who were in court, declined to comment after the hearing but a friend paid tribute.
Sarah Clarke, 37, said she had known Miss Whitehead for 15 year.
She said: “She was just the life and soul, a really loyal friend. She was unique and a very special person.”
Speaking of Miss Whitehead”s friendship with the defendants, she said: “She was not like them. She was not a drug addict in any way. She just got swept away.”