Pubdate: Thu, 14 Oct 1999
Source: Times, The (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd
Author: Trudy Harris


The BBC disc jockey Johnnie Walker was convicted yesterday of possessing
cocaine and fined pounds 2,000 after he was caught in a sting operation
organised by a newspaper.

Shortly afterwards, Radio 2 announced that Walker would be reinstated to his
drive-time programme. He was suspended in April when allegations about his
cocaine use were published. BBC Radio said it was impressed by the way in
which he had handled the allegations and his decision to seek treatment for
drug misuse.

Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court was told that Walker had gone to the
Grosvenor House Hotel in London on with four journalists posing as Arab
businessmen to discuss a deal to produce a radio demonstration tape.

In the hotel room, Walker produced a small amount of cocaine and put it on a
table after he and the reporters had talked about the availability of drugs.
Secret cameras captured the entire meeting. The News of the World later
published extensive details of the meeting.

Antony Chinn, in mitigation, said he had made full and frank confessions to
police. A charge of intent to supply cocaine was dropped.

Rosalind Keating, the magistrate, said that Walker, like other celebrities,
had to maintain high standards because he was in the public eye, but she
expressed disgust at the methods used by the journalists to expose Walker.

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