Farnworth couple had illegal pepper spray 'to protect themselves' after claiming £1 million compensation from botched surgical operation
A WHEELCHAIR-bound former drug dealer - who had been awarded £1 million compensation for botched surgery - bought illegal pepper spray to protect himself, a court heard.
Daniel Grimes, aged 45, and wife Sharon Grimes, aged 41, were found in possession of the pepper spray as well as small amounts of cocaine and heroin when police raided their house in Worsley Road, Farnworth, on July 24 last year.
Grimes told police that they bought the pepper spray on holiday, because he was “living in fear” and believed he may be targeted by “people with sinister intent”.
Prosecuting, Colin Buckle said: “He said he lived in fear of people coming to his house.
“One reason for this is because he has had a career of criminal activity with a number of drugs offences.”
Grimes also thought he might be targeted after he was awarded more than £1 million in compensation in 2011, when it was decided that negligent medical care had left him wheelchair bound.
The court heard that following a motorbike accident several years before, damage to Grimes’s spine went undiagnosed by doctors and an abscess developed. The infection then spread to his spine and left him having to use a wheelchair.
Mr Buckle said: “It appears that they were so concerned for their safety that at one stage they considered giving their daughter a can of pepper spray for protection, before thinking better of it.”
Police also found more than 1,500 diazepam tablets at the house, which Grimes said he had become addicted to.
The court heard that both defendants have a long history of offending.
Sharon Grimes has 29 convictions including possession with intent to supply drugs while her husband has 51 convictions to his name including assault, burglary and possession with intent to supply drugs.
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Sentencing, Recorder David Turner QC said: “You both have long criminal records, you are proven criminals and that is very serious.
“However, you have problems of your own and I am not going to add to them.”
The couple were both given sentences of three months in jail which will be suspended for 12 months.