A drug dealer who fled hospital wearing only his ward gown and went on the run in Spain has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison.
Christopher Brewer hid 13 kilograms of cocaine in a flat in Hildenborough before police were called to his home address last year. Despite his attempts to flee, he was eventually caught after trying unsuccessfully to re-enter the UK using a friend’s passport.
Kent Police had been called to the Nizels Lane property during the evening of September 13, 2017, following reports of a disturbance.
Brewer, aged 28, told officers at the scene three unknown men had burst into his flat and attacked himself and a friend. There was a smell of chemicals which he claimed was a result of ammonia being used during the assault.
Both men were taken to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, from where Brewer then fled wearing just a hospital gown.
Police at the flat later discovered quantities of cash and an air pistol.
Further searches led to the discovery of large packages of cocaine, concealed in places including behind kickboards in the kitchen and on the roof, behind a chimney breast.
Boxes of substances, later confirmed as cutting agents, were also recovered.
In total 13kg of cocaine was seized, with an estimated street value of between £1millon and £2million. The drugs had purity levels of almost 100%.
Fled to Spain
Brewer was found to have boarded a flight to Spain just hours after fleeing the hospital.
However on 17 November he was identified during a routine stop of a car by the UK Border Force in Coquilles, France.
Brewer tried to show a passport belonging to a friend but when the vehicle was searched his own passport was located and he was the identified as wanted and arrested.
He was later charged by Kent Police with possessing cocaine with intent to supply and for possessing criminal property (namely £22,350 in cash and an Audi car.) He was also charged with being in possession of an identity document with improper intention.
Brewer pleaded guilty and on January 12, 2018 was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.
Detective Constable Hayley Campbell, leading the investigastion, said: "It would appear Brewer was actually assaulted by rival criminals who had attempted to steal drugs from him.
"He knew police would be attending his property as a result of the disturbance and in a panic tried to remove any evidence that it was being used as a base to cut up and supply cocaine. This included using ammonia as a cleaning agent, which he lied about being assaulted with.
"The truth was that Brewer was involved in the supply of very significant quantities of cocaine, destined for distribution across Kent and which would no doubt have contributed to the severe and often devastating impact drugs have on the lives of users and their local communities."
Brewer will be now be subject to an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act and this will be used to try and claw back any benefits he may have gained from his criminal activities.