Man jailed after stashing knife in bag at Wellingborough cafe

Staff at Costa opened an unattended bag and found a knife, a passport and 42 grams of white powder.
Staff at Costa opened an unattended bag and found a knife, a passport and 42 grams of white powder.

A man who left a knife and drugs stashed in a manbag in a Wellingborough cafe has been jailed.

Staff at the Costa Coffee in Market Street were shocked to open an unattended bag in their store in January to find the three-inch knife and two ‘golf-ball sized’ lumps of powder.

Police were called, who also found a passport inside belonging to Daniel Gregory from Alloa in Scotland.

Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (March 15) how officers initially thought what they had found was two rocks amounting to 42 grams of cocaine - which surely would have made the owner a drug dealer.

But on testing, police labs found the two ‘golf balls’ were a concoction of sports supplement creatine, the stimulant medication ephedrine and low-quality cocaine.

In an interview, Gregory told police he used the mixture to ‘help him in the gym’ and slowly wean himself off cocaine.

Because of that, the 39-year-old was only charged with possession instead of much more serious charges of intent to supply.

But this did not explain the three-inch kitchen knife he also stashed in the bag.

Gregory claimed he had bought the knife in Morrisons. Enquiries proved Morrisons supermarkets do not sell the knife in question.

The 39-year-old also committed the offence while on bail for dangerous driving after speeding away from an unmarked police car in February 2018. He was disqualified from driving at the time.

Gregory - who has 106 previous offences from 27 convictions - later pleaded guilty in court to possession of cocaine and possession of a blade in public.

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Tregilgas-Davey said: “The police tested the drugs and I’m told they agree it was a very low purity of cocaine.

“But you lied about the knife. They do not sell that knife in Morrisons. It seems clear to me that you had it for your own protection.

“For that reason, I find it would be unjust not to impose an immediate custodial sentence.”

Gregory was jailed for 18 months for possession of a knife and dangerous driving. He was also disqualified from driving for 27 months.