Athlete sold heroin to pay cannabis debt

Must archive'Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre / view
Must archive'Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre / view
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A judge launched a scathing attack on the “disgusting world of class A drugs”, as he sentenced a teenage athlete who had become involved in the trade.

Steven Parle, 18, was caught with £900 of heroin and crack cocaine after travelling to Lancaster to sell the drugs on the street, in a bid to pay off a £200 cannabis debt.

Judge Christopher Cornwall, sentencing at Preston Crown Court, said: “This is a disgusting world controlled by drugs you have entered. You were going to sell, if the opportunity arose on 190 occasions, class A drugs.

“Drugs which would go to people in not dissimilar circumstances to yourself, people who didn’t have the money to pay and would fall into debt.

“People who would steal, burgle and rob in order to obtain the money to pay the dealers. This is what you were involving yourself in, getting people like yourself into exactly the same situation.

“The pre-sentence report speaks of your talents as an athlete and yet you thought nothing of taking cannabis.

“Cannabis is an extremely dangerous drug. Cannabis has brought you exactly to where you are at the moment and it can have terrible consequences on the human body.

“You, an athlete, abuse your own body by taking that drug, then you get into debt.

“The next thing you are out and about in Lancaster selling an even more serious drug to people to whom catastrophic consequences will be the result. If not to them, to their victims, the people who are robbed; the people who are burgled.”

The judge accepted Parle, of Sutton Wood Road, Liverpool, was young, naive and of previous good character.

He said he was able to suspend the two-year sentence he passed for two years, with a six-month curfew.

He warned: “Go back to using cannabis by all means, but it will bring you straight back to where you are now.”