Promising rugby player jailed for dealing cocaine in street near college

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A PROMISING sportsman who sold cocaine on the street near a college has been jailed for two years.

Former county rugby player Daniel Hart turned to dealing to fund his addiction, Durham Crown Court heard.

“Hart was arrested while on foot in the Peterlee area,” said Kate Dodds, prosecuting.

“A search found he was carrying 27.2g of cocaine in 30 wraps.

“When interviewed, Hart told police he would walk to Peterlee and sell the wraps from a street corner behind Lidl, near to Peterlee College.

“He said he would take about five wraps, and people who wanted drugs would know to approach him.”

The court was told Hart went to the corner ‘most days’ and had been doing so for about eight weeks when he was arrested.

Hart, 22, of Bruce Glazier Terrace, Shotton Colliery, admitted possessing a class A drug with intent to supply it on November 7 last year.

Jonnie Walker, mitigating, said: “Mr Hart developed his own habit which was costing about £300 a week.

“Part of his drugs were supplied on tick, so he turned to dealing to get himself out of debt.

“In his time he was a talented sportsman.

“He played both codes of rugby, and represented County Durham in the league form of the game.”

Judge Robert Adams jailed Hart for two years.

The judge told him: “After telling the police what you had been doing, you later gave different accounts.

“I rejected those at an earlier hearing, and am satisfied what you told the police in the first instance was largely the truth.

“You have demonstrated a degree of naivety which has been exploited by others.

“I accept you have shown remorse, but the sentence I pass must reflect the public’s dislike of those who deal class A drugs.”