Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Ping pong star started dealing coke and ecstasy after injury ruined career

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A rising ping pong star turned to dealing Class A drugs to support his own habit.

Kingsley Barber, 21, was pulled over on January 10, in Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, and tested positive for cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.

Police found a rucksack containing ecstasy, weed, and two sets of digital scales.

Barber, who used to play table tennis for Staffordshire, was arrested for driving under the influence, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

Prosecutor Christopher O'Gorman told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court : "The rear lights were not illuminated. There was a woman in the front passenger seat. As he approached the driver's side the officer could smell cannabis.

"The defendant was asked if he had smoked any cannabis. He said not since the weekend but he had a bit on him. He produced a small bag which contained cannabis from the centre console.

"The officer carried out a roadside drug swipe. The defendant tested positive for cannabis and cocaine. In a subsequent test he tested positive for ecstasy."

Barber, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to two offences of drug-driving, possessing ecstasy and cannabis, and being concerned in the supply of cocaine, ecstasy, and cannabis.

His please were on the basis that he sold drugs to support his own use.

Barber never sent out messages advertising drugs for sale but would discuss prices if contacted by friends. He was not selling on a daily basis.

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He knew everyone he sold to – all of whom were already users – and he did not supply to more than 10 people.

Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, said the defendant, who has no previous convictions, was a promising scholar and sportsman.

Aged 16, he experienced a life-changing injury to his leg.

Mr Muldoon said: "He was being coached by Desmond Douglas MBE, an English table tennis champion and Olympian, and he also represented Staffordshire for two years. He was Staffordshire Sports Personality of the Year in 2015 and also passed a coaching badge in table tennis.

“His career was going to be involved in sport on a coaching level or a competitive level. The injury and four related operations put a halt to that part of his life."

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Mr Muldoon added: "He has taken great steps and strides to make sure if any help is available to him he has availed himself of that assistance.

"He has had involvement with One Recovery. To his credit he managed to find employment.

"He is free from all illicit substances and has been for a significant period of time."

Barber was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 18 months.

The suspended sentence includes a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 30 months.

  • Drugs
  • Crime
  • Courts

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