Leeds ‘role model’ jailed for drug dealing

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A man described as a role model in the Leeds community where he lives has been jailed for three years for drug dealing.

Simeon Ottley, 21, was found in possession of cannabis and cocaine when police stopped his car outside the Original Oak pub, in Headingley, on December 11 last year.

Leeds Crown court heard officers became suspicious when officers checked the number plate on his Ford Focus and it appeared to be uninsured.

Matthew Harding, prosecuting, said Ottley smelled of cannabis and he was searched. Bags of the drugs were found in his underclothing along with three mobile phones.

The phones contained many text messages linking him to drug supply.

Ottley, of Wensley Road, Chapel Allerton, pleaded guilty to possession of class A and B drugs with intent to supply.

The court heard has two previous convictions for robbery and a further drugs offence.

Mark Foley, for Ottley, said his client had begun selling the drug after being made redundant from his job.

He added that Ottley was desperate to provide for his young daughter. Mr Foley had Ottley had recently set up a project at Chapeltown Youth Development Centre and was well respected within his community for the work he had done.

He said: “Since his arrest he has done everything possible to change his life around.”

Judge James Spencer told him that only jail term could be imposed because of his criminal record and the severity of the offences. He said: “If it is true that you appear to have become a role model in your community then the whole community will be watching today to see what happens to somebody who gets involved in the supply of class A drugs.

“I acknowledge that since your arrest in December you have made significant progress. It is quite clear from the material I have read and the people in court, that you have the support of your family and friends.

“They are very impressed with the progress you have made and I take that into consideration but I am constrained by the sentencing guidelines. The only sentence is one of immediate imprisonment.”

Mike Rogerson of WSP

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