Halifax man who tried to import thousands of sleeping tablets is jailed

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court
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A Halifax man who was caught importing thousands of diazepam tablets from Hong Kong has been jailed for 20 months.

Christopher Rockley, 29, used Facebook to get information from potential suppliers and then ordered deliveries of large quantities of the Class C drug to his own home.

As you know those prescription drugs, which are to aid sleep, are misused by addicts and are potentially injurious to health...that’s common knowledge

Bradford Crown Court heard how postal staff in the Midlands intercepted three packages intended for Rockley last May and alerted the police.

Prosecutor Robert Galley said the first package contained almost 6000 tablets and two further parcels each had just under 3000 tablets in them.

The court heard that Rockley had become addicted to diazepam when he was using heroin and he had planned to use some of the tablets himself and sell on a thousand at the rate of £1 a tablet.

His barrister Matthew Donkin said Rockley would have used £500 to purchase another batch and the remaining £500 to fund his own habit.

Mr Galley said the Facebook postings included advertisement-type material from one person explaining what he could supply to the defendant.

The court heard that Rockley, who had no relevant previous convictions, declined to answer police questions when he was interviewed about his activities last year.

Mr Galley submitted that Rockley was clearly motivated by financial gain and there was an element of links to others abroad.

But Mr Donkin disputed whether the case involved any substantial profit and he described Rockley’s offending as “a simplistic operation”.

He pointed out that the packages were coming through the post addressed to his client and they were not in the hull of a boat or anything of that nature.

Mr Donkin said Rockley was still on a prescription for diazepam and was remorseful for the offending.

Rockley, of Greenroyd Terrace, Skircoat Green, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the illegal importation of the tablets and Judge Robert Bartfield told him he could not suspend the 20-month jail term.

“As you know those prescription drugs, which are to aid sleep, are misused by addicts and are potentially injurious to health...that’s common knowledge,” the judge told Rockley.

“You have pleaded guilty and been open about the fact that you were going to sell and deal in a significant proportion of them.”

The judge said he was unable to suspend the prison sentence due to the nature and professionalism, to a degree, of the operation.