Violinist Nigel Kennedy’s son jailed after £15,000 cocaine bust
The son of Nigel Kennedy, the flamboyant classical violinist, has been jailed for drug dealing after he was caught "red-handed" with more than £15,000 worth of cocaine.
Worcester Crown court heard that Sark Yves Amadeus Kennedy, 25 – who was in a car where police found almost 400 wraps of cocaine stuffed inside pairs of disposable gloves – had an "unconventional background" which lacked "stability".
Kennedy, who was wearing a Rolex watch and gold chain when he was stopped, told officials his drug dealing was a "one-off".
But the court heard that Kennedy – whose Twitter profile picture appears to show him smoking a joint – was "up to his neck in the filthy trade" of drug dealing in an attempt to clear his debts after getting hooked on cocaine as a teenager.
His father Nigel, now 64, has admitted his own occasional use of cannabis to aid his creativity – telling German police who raided a post-concert party in 2010 that "I can't do this job without it".
Sark Kennedy, who lives with his mother – Nigel's ex-partner Eve – in Malvern, Worcestershire, was jailed for 33 months after admitting possession with intent to supply cocaine.
A second charge of possession of criminal property was allowed to lie on file.
Sentencing him at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday, recorder Martin Butterworth said: "I'm prepared to accept you had an addiction to cocaine since you were 18. It's perfectly clear that there is a lot about you which would suggest that you are entirely capable of becoming a useful member of society.
"But you became involved in a very significant way in a filthy trade which produces serious and real harm to the people who use the drug.
"Whether you understand that, or care, I don't know. Your attempt to present your drug dealing activity in a more favourable light when interviewed by the probation service backfired for you.
"I had considered whether your attempt to hoodwink probation and the court suggested you were a more cynical drug dealer than I'm being asked to see you as."
The court heard Kennedy – who in 2016 was attending music technology college to study sound engineering and computer programming – was pulled over by police in his Skoda Octavia on June 22 this year in St John’s, a suburb of Worcester.
Officers found 146g or 389 wraps of cocaine with 59 per cent purity stashed inside the "stash car" – where Kennedy hid his drugs – with a street value of £15,560.
‘He has an unconventional background’
His Huawei mobile phone with two SIM cards was also seized which revealed bulk SMS messages sent out to numerous drug users.
An expensive Rolex watch and gold chains worth £7,300 were also found on Kennedy.
The court heard police also found Kennedy had stuffed 0.4g 'cocaine shots' inside the fingers of petrol station gloves which he sold for £40 each.
An expert described Kennedy's drug dealing as "mid-market level" with the drugs to be handed on to "multiple street dealers".
John Cooper QC, defending, told the court: "He [Kennedy] has an unconventional background, an upbringing that could provide excitement perhaps but also, perhaps, a lack of stability."
‘There's something to work with here’
He added: "He asserted it was a one-off. The Crown indicated during the course of the last hearing, on the material they had, that certainly was not the case."
Mr Cooper said that Kennedy had travelled in Australia and Indonesia without taking drugs and there had lived "a law-abiding life", adding: "There's something to work with here in short."
He said, however, that the trips "brought him closer and closer to individuals who forced him, cajoled him into helping them, working with them and playing the role properly laid out in the opening."
Mr Cooper told the court Kennedy had been diagnosed with both ADHD and dyslexia, but added: "Whilst in custody he has made positive steps to address his drug addiction. There's potential here."
Nigel Kennedy, the so-called punk violinist who went from the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey to busking in front of Tiffany’s in New York before finding worldwide fame, said in 2015 that some drugs, like cannabis, should be legalised, so "you can choose what you do in your own home," adding: "I just do exactly what I want."
Kennedy once described his son as his "greatest achievement", and wrote a reflective piece called Father and Son about him. But their relationship has been complex and, at times, difficult.
Kennedy separated from Sark’s mother, his former girlfriend Eve Westmore, when the boy was still a small child, though he would spend at least 10 days a month with him, buying a £700,000 house in Malvern to be closer to the child and his mother.
Sark is known to have had an unconventional upbringing, being surrounded by music industry figures and hangers-on while with his father, who was at other times absent on tour or living with his second wife in Poland.
In 2000, he told how he had bought Sark a "little fiddle and a little guitar", saying he had a great sense of rhythm but that he did not want him to follow in his footsteps.
He said at the time: "He is very precious to me and when we are together, we just hang out and go and feed the horses and all the normal stuff dads and sons do. When I look at my life, he's my greatest achievement."
Kennedy added: "I would love Sark to grow up happy, and if he plays for Aston Villa, well wouldn't that be a great bonus?"
Kennedy once admitted he had devoted his entire life to music and described it as "something I can rely on more than other relationships".