Personal trainer from Yeadon turned cocaine dealer after losing clients during Covid lockdown, Leeds Crown Court told

A personal trainer from Leeds who turned cocaine dealer after losing clients due to the Covid-19 lockdown has been jailed for more than three years.

By Mark Lavery
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 4:45 pm

Benjamin Catterill was driving a VW Golf stopped by police in Chapeltown in the early hours of November 4, Leeds Crown Court was told.

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Police found an improvised weapon - made up of a sock and metal nut - in the driver's side door pocket.

Benjamin Catterill

Police found a number of wraps of cocaine worth a total of £1,740 in Catterill's boxer shorts when he was searched.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said Catterill, 37, told police he had been dealing for around "a week or two."

Mr Galley said: "He said he was a physical training instructor. He said lockdown had limited his ability to make money.

"He had seen others taking 'sniff' at parties and had decided to sell them (drugs) to make money."

Catterill, of Victoria Road, Yeadon admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing an offensive weapon.

He has previous convictions for robbery, wounding, grievous bodily harm, and wounding.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said: "He came out of prison after his last sentence and managed to make a pretty good fist of personal training.

"It was something he had been interested in. He trained himself and had a number of clients, but lockdown put an end to that.

"He got into financial difficulty and he saw the opportunity to try and make some money from seeing others doing it.

"The defendant is not trying to put forward an excuse or personal circumstances that he was pressured into doing it.

"He completely understands that what he did was wrong."

Mr Frieze added: "He has some mental health issues. He suffers from bipolar, which has been a feature of his offending in the past."

Referring to the improvised weapon, Mr Frieze said: "He simply had it with him just in case somebody cut up rough with him. He never had to take it out."

Judge Mushtaq Khokar jailed Catterill for three years and two months.

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