An addict who claimed he’d been stealing drugs from his dealer was accused of failing to repay the ‘chance’ he was given by an Oxford judge.

Zywai Nyahoda, 32, who was caught in Grandpont Nature Park with heroin and crack last June, received a 23 month suspended sentence when his case came before Oxford Crown Court last year.

But this week Judge Maria Lamb sent him to prison for 20 months for breaching that suspended sentence order by repeatedly failing to keep appointments with the probation service.

And the court heard he’d not completed any of the structured rehabilitation work ordered by the judge last November.

Judge Lamb said: “I imposed this sentence on November 4 last year and I made it perfectly clear then that I was giving you a chance and it’s a chance which you do not seem to have repaid with any degree of commitment.

“I suppose it’s not surprising, because when I look back at your record I remind myself there were breaches of previous community orders which were imposed upon you.”

It was ‘plain’ that Nyahoda was only committed to engaging with the authorities on his own terms, she added.

Sending him down, Judge Lamb said: “The chance that I gave you hasn’t been taken and this suspended sentence must be brought into operation.” She reduced the length of the sentence by three months to 20 months’ imprisonment.

Mitigating on her client’s behalf on Tuesday morning, barrister Emma Hornby said Nyahoda wanted to apologise to the court for failing to attend a previous hearing, which resulted in him being arrested on a warrant. He had taken a lateral flow test, which showed he was positive for Covid-19, but had not done a PCR test and was unable to telephone the court as he had no phone credit.

The death of his grandmother earlier in the year had deeply affected him and left him struggling to engage with the probation service. It was ‘clear’ Nyahoda had a drug problem for which he needed help, his barrister said. He had no wish to return to prison.

Last year, the court heard Nyahoda had struggled with a female police officer who’d spotted him with what appeared to be drugs wraps at Grandpont Nature Park in Oxford.

Eventually, other officers came to assist and he was arrested. Drugs worth £520 were found in his possession as well as £410 in cash and a tub of Vaseline.

Nyahoda, of Kimmeridge Road, Cumnor, admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, possession of drugs and obstructing a police officer.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.