Drug dealer linked to death of teenager Anya Buckley at Leeds Festival has cash seized under Proceeds of Crime Act

A teenage drug dealer who is believed to have supplied ecstasy at Leeds Festival to a 17-year-old school friend who later died has had cash seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act

By Tony Gardner
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 7:10 pm

Luke Jones, 19, was one of three men who were sent to custody at Leeds Crown Court in April this year after admitting conspiracy to supply ecstasy at Leeds Festival in August 2019.

The court heard 17-year-old Anya Buckley, who had gone to the festival with a group of friends, collapsed after taking drugs including ecstasy at the Bramham Park festival site.

Medical staff tried to revive Anya, but she was declared dead just after 3.30am on August 24, 2019.

Anya Buckley, 17, who had gone to the festival with a group of friends, died after taking drugs including ecstasy at the Bramham Park festival site.

Toxicology results showed Anya had a combination of ecstasy, ketamine and cocaine in her system.

A pathologist concluded Anya died from mixed drug toxicity and said ecstasy toxicity is likely to have been the central factor in her death.

Jones was returned to the court today for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)

The court heard he had benefited to the sum of £1,377 as a result of his offending. He was ordered to pay the amount within 40 days.

Anya Buckley.

A second defendant, Sol Pegler, 21, also had his POCA hearing settled in his absence.

Pegler's benefit figure was £29,878 but he has just £900 available to be seized.

Judge Neil Clark ordered that the lower amount be paid within 40 days.

At the sentencing hearing earlier this year, prosecutor Tom Storey said Anya had told a friend at the festival that she had agreed to smuggle some drugs into the festival for Jones in exchange for some free drugs for herself.

Three hours after Anya's death police found where Luke Jones was camping and arrested and searched him.

Mr Storey said officers found a small Louis Vuitton draw-string bag in his underwear, which contained a number of self-seal bags containing tablets and white powder.

The drugs were later found to include more than 9g of powdered ecstasy at 92 per cent purity.

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There were also 25 cream coloured tablets marked with a Pharaoh's head logo and a message that read 'warning/Pharaoh 240mg' - among other drugs found by police.

Mr Storey said Jones had done internet searches on his phone for 'Pharaoh' pills and visited a web page that urged caution on the basis that this type of MDMA tablet comprised a high dose because it contained more than 120mg of MDMA.

Jones, of Lauren Close, Oldham, admitted conspiring to supply ecstasy between August 1 and 25, 2019.

Mr Storey said: "A significant amount of messages were retrieved from Luke Jones’ mobile phone.

"These point to the involvement of others, including Sol Pegler and Joshua Yarwood, in the conspiracy to supply controlled drugs at the Leeds Festival."

The court heard Yarwood, 20, had agreed to allow Jones to use his phone to complete one ecstasy deal at the festival when Jones's phone wasn't working.

Yarwood, of Clough Lane, Oldham, admitted conspiring to supply ecstasy between August 1 and 25 2019.

Yarwood also admitted two charges of offering to supply cannabis in 2020.

Mr Storey said Pegler had been involved in drug dealing before and after Leeds Festival 2019.

Pegler, of Highmoor View, Oldham, admitted conspiring to supply ecstasy.

He also admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine, ketamine and cannabis on October 9 2019; offering to supply cocaine and ketamine on June 5 2017 and offering to supply cocaine and ketamine on May 29 2018.

Mr Storey said drugs worth more than £120,000 were seized during the course of the 2019 Leeds Festival and 117 people were evicted for drug-related matters.

Jailing Luke Jones for two years and eight months, Judge Simon Batiste said: "I make it clear, despite the evidence indicating that the drugs that killed Anya may have come from him, I do not sentence him for causing her death."

Judge Batiste added: "He was selling particularly strong MDMA. He was aware from searches he had undertaken that the drugs he was selling had a greater quantity of MDMA than would normally be the case."

Jailing Pegler for six years, Judge Batiste told him: "You were clearly involved in dealing drugs before and after Leeds Festival."

Yarwood was given a 16 month jail sentence, suspended for two years and told to do 10 rehabilitation activity days and 150 hours unpaid work.