A DRUGS counsellor who began dealing in cocaine and heroin after his secret love affair with a pal’s wife was discovered has narrowly escaped going to jail.
The judge at Doncaster Crown Court was told how Paul James Spittlehouse had relapsed after an incredible turnaround in his life as a former drug addict.
He had been clear of drugs for 10 years and worked for several drugs rehabilitation agencies helping to get people clean but the shame of being caught having an affair with a friend’s wife led him back into abusing drugs again.
When police raided his home in Blyth Road, Maltby, they found evidence of cocaine and heroin on scales he had been using to supply his associates, the court heard.
After hearing how the 39-year-old had once again fought off his addiction, Recorder Rodney Jameson, QC, agreed to suspend a 51 weeks’ prison sentence for two years.
He told Spittlehouse, who has been sacked from his job with Rotherham Clearways drug intervention programme: “I just hope to God I have got this right but there has to be a massive amount of good in you.”
The appropriate sentence for the supply of drugs, which the defendant admitted, should have been not less than two years immediate custody, said the judge.
But he added: “If ever there was a case that entitled me to modify the sentencing guidelines this is probably it.
“You had put your house in order and helped a lot of other people who had been in the same sort of trouble you were in.
“It is hard to see, now you have managed to stop taking drugs, what the benefit to society would be in having you locked up.”
Spittlehouse had previous drugs convictions in the 1990s but successfully completed a drug rehab course in 2001 and started voluntary work with addicts, said Tim Savage, defending.
In 2005 he got a full-time job with North Notts Drug Intervention Programme based at Worksop police station and in 2008 secured the post with Clearways based at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court, advising people on detoxification, rehab and also training magistrates.
But in July 2009 he was deemed to have ‘betrayed’ his friends and family, who would have nothing to do with him after discovering his affair with a friend’s wife, and that caused his relapse into drugs again.
The judge also ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.