A well-known criminal splurged a £50,000 Covid grant on drugs, a court has heard.
Louis Maxwell, 35, had applied to the government’s Bounceback loan scheme to help his tow-truck business survive lockdown.
He used half the grant on a new truck, but splashed the rest on Class A drugs.
Maxwell later sold the newly-purchased vehicle in order to buy even more drugs.
The 35-year-old had previously hit the headlines after he mocked for looking like Beaker from the Muppets after police posted his mugshot.
Police published Maxwell’s mugshot onto their Facebook page after he led them on a high speed chase in 2017.
‘Last seen in Springfield,’ wrote one user after comparing him to Bart Simpson’s nemesis Sideshow Bob.
Another added: ‘Last seen on The Simpsons, he’s mates with Krusty the clown, think his alias is Bob.’
Users also suggested he looked like Beaker from the Muppets and Bert from Sesame Street.
In court today, Maxwell’s barrister Karl Williams described his client as having ‘the most extreme addiction to crack cocaine that I’ve ever come across’.
‘The £50,000 government loan was spent on drugs,’ Mr Williams told Cardiff Crown Court.
When he applied for the Bounceback loan, which had been championed by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Maxwell owned the Mr Tow Recovery Logistics business in Newport, Gwent.
He used a Jeep Cherokee and trailer – despite being banned from driving himself – to carry out work.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the 35-year-old had also once led police on a high-speed chase through Newport city centre and was only stopped when his tyres were shredded by a stinger device.
Police found crack cocaine on him once he was stopped.
Ieuan Bennett, prosecuting, said: ‘He told officers he was a ‘crackhead’ and that the drugs were for his own personal use.’
Maxwell, of Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine between October 24, 2020 and February 4, 2021.
He also admitted burglary, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop, failing to provide a specimen, driving without insurance and possession of cocaine.
Judge Recorder David Elias QC, jailed Maxwell for 46 months.
Fraud concerns have previously surrounded Covid grants – with some speculating that loans worth up to £27,000,000,000 ‘may never be repaid’.
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