Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

A man who was paid £1.4m in compensation after he lost his leg in a work accident went off the rails and was unscrupulously exploited by people selling him drugs, a court has heard.

Mark Buery lost his limb on a construction site in Kent where he was a JCB telescopic handler in 2008. But since then, after purchasing his flat, he frittered almost all of his money away on drugs and alcohol, now only has £10,000 left.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the flat of Buery, 42, was used as a "cuckoo nest" by a London drugs dealer.

Police were led to his property in Walmer, Kent, when CCTV footage showed a woman stealing food from a nearby supermarket and then going to his flat.

There police found drug dealer David Fontaine, 19, as well as 30 wraps of heroin and a phone showing drug deals.

Ben Irwin, defending, said before his accident, Buery, who was "effectively being cuckooed by a London-based gang" did not use drugs and when he came into some money he was surrounded by people who wanted to take it.

"Following the accident his life changed dramatically and he utterly lost his way. He had a disorganised lifestyle as result of his drugs use and his need to resort to criminality to fund his drugs use," he said, according to Kent Online.

"He essentially helped them because by then he was an entrenched drug addict but things have now changed by and large all the money is gone, " he added.

Judge Simon James sentenced Buery to eight months suspended jail sentence after admitting allowing his home to be used to supply drugs.

"I am sure you knew exactly what was going on in your home," the judge said.

Fontaine admitted drug dealing and was sent to a Young Offender's Institute for 30 months.