Leeds Festival drug dealer caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine avoids immediate jail

A dealer caught peddling class A drugs at Leeds Festival has avoided immediate jail after his mother told a court he has changed since his arrest.

By Mark Lavery
Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:39 pm
Leeds Festival 2019
Leeds Festival 2019

Nathan Galea, 20, was caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine worth a total of almost £2,000 and more than £1,600 in cash at the Bramham Park festival in the early hours of August 24, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said security staff at Leeds Festival spotted Galea going from group to group apparently offering to supply drugs.

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Mr Sharp said: "Police were called and the defendant was arrested. His reply to caution was 'I'm an idiot.'"

Police searched Galea and found ecstasy with a street value of £795, £200 worth of cocaine and ketamine worth £965.

They also found £1,689 in cash.

Mr Sharp said Galea's mobile phone was seized and messages revealed he had got the drugs in bulk from various suppliers.

Mr Sharp said Galea also discussed security at the festival and others said it had been easy to get drugs in to the festival in the previous two years.

Mr Sharp said in one text message Galea said he was about to bring in about £7,000 worth of drugs to the festival and that he was going to make a profit of £4,850.

Galea, of Grosvenor Road, Urmston, Manchester, admitted three charges of supplying class A drugs.

Matthew Howarth, mitigating, said: "He was targeting groups of peers of a similar age.

"My understanding is he had accumulated a debt through taking drugs and he stupidly fell into that further and further.

"He saw this as a way to make a quick bit of money to pay off the drugs debt."

The judge asked one of Galea's parents to give evidence about how he has changed since his arrest and how he felt about the prospect of custody.

Galea's mother told the court: "There is a big difference in his attitude. We could work out something was going wrong.

"He had gone quite arrogant and then he got arrested and that really has brought back my little boy."

Galea's mother said he was "terrified" at the prospect of being jailed.

Judge Mairs handed Galea a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to do 300 hours unpaid work.

Judge Mairs told him: "You owe your mother a considerable debt of gratitude because your stupidity very, very nearly cost you your liberty - you have no idea how close you came.

"I accept you are largely a decent lad from what is obviously a more than decent family.

"But there were lots of decent kids at Leeds Festival and people are entitled to go there without people like you selling Class A drugs."

Judge Mairs added: "You have made considerable efforts to revert back to the young man that you used to be since these matters came to light."