Businessman drug peddler

Crime story
Crime story

A WIGAN businessman who acted as an anabolic steroids courier has been blasted for his cowardice in failing to identify his accomplice.

A judge told Richard Ackers he could have brought the man’s identity to police in complete confidence.

The 25-year-old was caught while delivering steroids to Blackpool, for which he was to receive £6,000. Ackers, of Rigby Street, Golborne, was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and a 250-hour community order, after admitting six counts of possessing steroids with intent to supply.

Preston Crown Court heard he has a business supplying protein bars and energy drinks to gyms and it was through this legitimate work that he was approached to make a delivery.

John Woodward, prosecuting, said suspicious residents phoned police after two men in a Vauxhall Insignia were spotted on the forecourt of a Blackpool hotel. Both were later arrested and a large amount of medication was recovered from the car.

The defendant said at the time: “I didn’t know it was illegal to sell them.” The court heard it was not illegal to use steroids if prescribed but it is illegal to supply them.

Michael Brady, defending, said Ackers was a courier and the £6,000 would have gone to the person asking him to do it. Payment to Ackers would have been vials of the drug for personal use. “He feels unable to give police information about that person as he fears for his safety,” said Mr Brady.

“If the police had acted on information the person involved would have put two and two together and come up with the right answers. So confidentiality to the police may not have saved him from consequences.

“This is the first time he has acted in this way. He has no ties with the criminal community. Because of his contact with people using such drugs he was approached and asked to act in the way he did. He bitterly regrets that decision. He is disgusted with himself.”

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Cornwall told him: “I condemn you for your moral cowardice in failing to take advantage of the steps open to you, in circumstances of complete anonimity and confidentiality to bring the identity of the man to the attention of the police.”