Drug-deal soccer player is back behind bars

A FOOTBALLER was today back behind bars after being caught drug dealing while on day release from prison for killing a teenager.

Daniel Sheriffe, 26, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting dealing drugs to an undercover police officer in Chapeltown while on day release for manslaughter.

Sheriffe, who played for Garforth Town and coached youngsters for the club, was snared in a police sting after dealing a 15 wrap of heroin to an undercover officer.

Sentencing him at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Jackie Davies said: "You're no role model for young people."

At the time of the offence, Sheriffe, who has no history of drug taking himself, was serving three-and-a-half years for manslaughter after punching 17-year-old student Jose Augusto outside the Town House nightclub, Leeds. Mr Augusto died in hospital four days later from brain damage.

Judge Davies said the fact he committed the crime while on day release from prison was an aggravating feature in the case.

Sheriffe was caught in a police operation targeting drug dealers in Chapeltown. But the night before Sheriffe was due to face trial after initially denying the drug deal, he was stabbed five times in the legs and back. He claimed he had been stabbed by a masked drug dealer who wanted him to repay a debt and who told him: "keep your mouth shut". But, after a trial of issue over the claim, Judge Davies found that Sheriffe himself had caused the wounds, branding it a "desperate but unusual" step.

She added: "His motive was to secure a lighter prison sentence, his position being serious because of his earlier connection with the supply of class A drugs."

Sheriffe, of Hamilton Avenue, Chapeltown, Leeds, was jailed for three years in 2000 after police raided his home and found a 'substantial' stash of heroin and crack cocaine. In 2005, he was jailed for three-and-a-half years after being convicted of the manslaughter of Mr Augusto.

While on day release in July 2006, an undercover police officer came across Sheriffe who gave her several business cards saying "Lee's Window Cleaners" with a mobile number.

Leeds Crown Court heard that these were business cards for a drug dealer which were 'dressed up' to look innocent.

The officer phoned the number and was later met by Sheriffe who gave her the wrap. After his arrest more cards were found in a car used by Sheriffe which was parked in the prison's grounds at Kirklevington in Yarm, Cleveland.

He admitted one charge of supplying a class A drug but claimed he was put under pressure to do so by a drug dealer – a claim which the judge has now thrown out.

l Read Jose's story and reaction from his family in Monday's Yorkshire Evening Post.

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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