Dad turned to drugs to fund custody battle

Date published: 08 October 2014

A DESPERATE Oldham dad turned to crime to earn money after spending a fortune on legal fees in a custody battle over his young son.

Matthew Kenyon (27), whose relationship with the boy’s mother had failed, spent £20,000 on solicitor fees. He was at the point of a custody bid but a suspended prison sentence for drug dealing might now have dashed his hopes.

Kenyon, of Lauren Close, was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He was given a further three-month sentence, to run concurrently, for being armed with a knuckle duster.

Sentencing him, Judge Timothy Mort told him: “This is a desperately sad case. It must be marked with a custodial sentence, which I feel able to suspend, but the irony is that by your actions you have jeopardised your fight for rights to be with your son.”

The court heard how Kenyon and his 24-year old girlfriend Jessica Houghton had been arrested in Oldham after a chance sighting by police of what they suspected was a street drug deal.

A search of their car found bags of cannabis, mobile phones and cash. A search of Kenyon’s home revealed more drugs, phones, cash and a debtors’ list.

Michael Hopkinson, defending, said Kenyon had been a “very foolish man indeed,” stumbling into drugs while on a window-cleaning round.

Mr Hopkinson said his client had gone to desperate lengths to obtain ready cash to fund his legal fight over his young son.

Kenyon was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid community work. Houghton, of Deepdale Avenue, Royton, was given a 12-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work.

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