Rabbi took kosher food to five-day coke binge

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 20, 2009
Rabbi Baruch Chalomish

Rabbi Baruch Chalomish

Admitting to snorting large quantities of cocaine and having sex with prostitutes, a rabbi accused of running a cocaine supply business told a court that he had taken kosher food with him to eat during a five-day drug binge at the Manchester city centre apartment where he was arrested.

Rabbi Baruch Chalomish has pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cocaine, but denies two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to supply. He stands co-accused with a convicted drug dealer, Nasir Abbas, who has failed to attend the trial and is being tried in his absence.

Rabbi Chalomish said he had never been arrested before and was not a drug dealer, telling the court in tears that he had turned to cocaine only to forget the death of his wife Freda, who died in 1996 of liver cancer.
"I felt high, with no worries and not lonely any more."

When his defence barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, asked Rabbi Chalomish who had sold him cocaine, he replied: "Mr Abbas."

"Why were you buying from him, were there cocaine parties being held?"

"Yes," answered Rabbi Chalomish.

Mr Goldberg continued: "Who was providing all the people at the party with cocaine?"

"Nasir Abbas", replied Rabbi Chalomish.

When Mr Goldberg asked if there were escorts at these parties, and if Rabbi Cholomish had had relations with them, he answered: "Yes".

Mr Goldberg asked why the cocaine found in his possession was of a high purity often associated with drug dealers. Rabbi Chalomish replied: "Drugs going in the street are mixed with dangerous things. I didn't want to take this. When I had pure cocaine I knew nothing was mixed with it.

The defence counsel for Mr Abbas, Oliver Jarvis, put it to Rabbi Chalomish that his client was a mere "go-fer" and "servant" for him, and was not his drug dealer.

Rabbi Chalomish rejected this charge, and added, in tears: "Every human being, whether religious or not, is a creation of God. We are all children of God, so please don't say that."

Rabbi Chalomish told the court he was worth around £7m, and earned £150,000 per year from his property business. He said he did not need to sell drugs and his income was enough for him.

Yesterday the court was told by the rabbi's brother-in-law, Supreme Court solicitor Joseph Pearlman, that Rabbi Chalomish had never recovered from the death of his wife. It was alleged at the court that the rabbi had fallen into the grips of a convicted drug dealer.

The case continues.

Last updated: 10:24am, November 23 2009