'Jumpy' drug driver said he didn't realise he had cocaine in his system - Leeds Crown Court

A Leeds drug driver who said he didn’t realise he had cocaine in his system has avoided jail.
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Police spotted John Langman, 38, driving a blue Ford Fiesta on Stanningley Road on February 26 this year.

They stopped the vehicle as their system flagged it was not insured, although that was later found to be incorrect.

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But while Langman was talking to officers in their car he appeared “jumpy and very talkative”, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Leeds Crown CourtLeeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

The officers could also smell cannabis.

A drugs swab found cannabis in Langman’s system and he was taken to Elland Road police station.

An evidential sample of blood found that he was not over the legal limit for THC, but there was Benzoylecgonine (BZE) - metabolite cocaine - in his system.

This measured at 55mg, over the legal limit of 50mg.

Langman pleaded guilty to drug driving and breaching the order of a suspended sentence for another offence.

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He has previous convictions including dangerous driving and drug-related crimes.

Eleanor Mitten, mitigating, said Langman was not aware he had BZE in his system as “he didn’t feel impaired”.

He said he had taken cocaine a couple of days previously at a social gathering.

“He understands this offence is unacceptable,” Ms Mitten added.

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The judge, Recorder Robert Ward, said: “You’re no stranger to the drugs world.

“This is the first time that you’ve mixed drugs and driving, but there has been drug use for 20 years which has caused you various problems and brings you here today.”

Langman, of Cragside Gardens, Hawksworth, was sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from driving for 15 months.

He was also fined £100.