Pubdate: 14 October 1999
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Contact:  1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL


The Radio 2 presenter Johnnie Walker was fined pounds 2,000 yesterday after
pleading guilty to possession of cocaine. Walker, 54, was also ordered to
pay pounds 200 costs and was told by the magistrate, Rosmond Keating, that
as a public figure he had a duty to maintain higher standards of life than
other people.

Acknowledging that he had sought help for his addiction, Mrs Keating said:
"I hope some good will come from this appalling incident."

Walker's counsel, Antony Chinn, told Horseferry magistrates' court, central
London, of the pressures that had causedWalker to turn to cocaine. He said
Walker had been affected by the pressures of work and had lost both his
parents in close succession. His long-term girlfriend had also left him.

"He found himself alone and working hard and he turned to the occasional
use of cocaine," Mr Chinn said.

Outside court, Walker, ofLeigh, Wiltshire thanked his family and listeners
for their support. "I am extremely sorry for the embarrassment I have
caused my family, friends and the BBC," he said.

BBC Radio 2 announced yesterday that Walker is to return to his job, with
the date yet to be decided. He was suspended in April after allegations of
his cocaine use appeared in the News of the World.

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