Former footballer jailed after selling drugs to pay off gambling debts

A FORMER footballer who was released by his club after failing to make the grade turned to drug dealing in order to pay for his gambling debts.

Kyle Anderson was on youth terms with Hartlepool United and after being released secured a university degree.

But the 25-year-old, of Northwold Close, Greatham, Hartlepool had also built up a large gambling debt which he hid from family and friends.

Prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, Jenny Haigh said police stopped Anderson on Brenda Road, Hartlepool, on April 27 this year after he was seen using a mobile phone at the wheel.

A search of his car then found two bags of white powder – cocaine – along with a number of plastic bags used to store the drug. He was also found in possession of £250 cash.

The cocaine – weighing 8.55 grams – was valued at about £342.

Anderson admitted possession of a class A drug with intent to supply. His barrister Dan Scarborough said he had begun initially betting on football coupons, but had then become addicted to other forms of gambling.

He told the judge in the case: “Dealing was a way of paying off his debt. He is not the normal sort of person you would have before you for this sort of offence.”

Mr Scarborough said Anderson had shown genuine remorse and submitted an early guilty plea. He also said he was receiving help for his gambling problem.

The barrister suggested to Judge Les Spittle that he could suspend a jail sentence on the defendant.

But the judge disagreed and jailed him immediately for two-and-half years.

Anderson had told police he only dealt to friends and associates who he knew were already taking cocaine. But Judge Spittle said ultimately he had no way of knowing who would end up using the drug and that could include children.

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