Former Leeds United youth footballer caught with more than £4,000 worth of ketamine, cannabis and MDMA
A former Leeds United apprentice had drugs worth £4,500 in his car when he was stopped by West Yorkshire Police officers.
The officers discovered MDMA, ketamine and cannabis after searching Devonte Morton's Skoda Fabia.
Leeds Crown Court heard the former semi-professional footballer tried to run off after officers made the discovery on December 7, 2018.
Andrea Parnham, prosecuting, said the officers became suspicious when they saw a man walk up to the vehicle and an exchange appeared to be made.
The officers approached Morton in the car and could see what appeared to be drugs in clear plastic bags inside the vehicle.
Morton was handcuffed but told officers he could not get into the rear of their car until the seat was adjusted.
Morton ran off as one of the officers was adjusting the seat.
He was caught after a chase and detained until other officers arrived.
MDMA worth £440 was also seized along with a mobile phone which contained texts relating to the supply of drugs.
A large amount of boric acid power was also in the vehicle.
Ms Parnham said the powder is often used as a bulking agent for illegal drugs.
As he was being arrested, Morton said to officers: "MDMA is class A isn't it?
"I can't believe I have done this. The guy's out of town and I have taken his phone. I owe him money."
Morton, 24, of Spen Lawn, West Park, Leeds, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply and two of possession of a class B drug with intent to supply."
Probation officer Mick Berry said Morton had been an apprentice footballer with Leeds United and Hull City.
He was released by those clubs before moving to the Czech Republic to play football.
Morton then returned to the UK to play semi-professionally.
A car was provided for him to sell the drugs.
Mr Berry said Morton had described his offending as "shocking."
The officer added: "He said he had brought disgrace on himself and his family."
The court heard Morton has been volunteering at Chapeltown Youth Centre.
A reference from the defendant's mother stated: "He has made costly decisions and silly mistakes."
Khadim Al’Hassan, mitigating, said Morton had not been in trouble in almost two and a half years and had been working hard in his local community.
The barrister said: "This is a young man who has done a tremendous amount of good but got himself in a situation which is wholly out of character.
Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC gave Morton a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.
Morton was also made the subject of a curfew order for two months.