A SOLDIER discharged from the British Army for drug use became a heroin dealer after his life spiralled.

David Anthony Graham, 43, was warned by a judge that a prison sentence is “inevitable” for a supply crime committed in his home town of Whitehaven on May 14 last year.

Some heroin was found in his person along with a multi-tool with an extended blade, and more of the class A substance was located at his home. Heroin totalling 3.32g, potentially worth around £300, is said to have been seized.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Graham, of Croasdale Avenue, admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply, and offensive weapon possession, at Flatt Walks, Whitehaven.

The court heard Graham now faced a jail term of between three-and-a-half and seven years.

Karen Tunnacliffe, defending, accepted the “inevitable consequences” for him, but asked for sentencing to be postponed for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

“There are a number of factors in Mr Graham’s history which I feel would benefit from the involvement of the probation service by way of a report to assist in sentencing,” said Mrs Tunnacliffe.

“He is an ex-soldier who suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which has not been diagnosed, and no guidance given in relation to that.”

Graham began taking cannabis while serving. “That drug usage led to him being discharged from the army,” said Mrs Tunnacliffe.

“This [heroin crime] is his first offence involving class A drugs. There is obviously a downward spiral here.”

Mrs Tunnacliffe said Graham was a father-of-three whose wife had died four years ago.

Recorder Eric Lamb adjourned the case to March 27, when Graham will be sentenced, and granted him bail.

“I will not be the sentencing judge,” said Recorder Lamb, who added: “In my view a sentence of custody is inevitable.”