Irish sprinter Leon Reid denies drug and firearm offences

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Irish Sprinter Leon Reid Denies Drug And Firearm Offences
Leon Reid, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Claire Hayhurst, PA

Irish sprinter Leon Reid has denied eight charges relating to drugs and firearms offences in England.

The 26-year-old appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video-link along with 17 other defendants on Wednesday.

He is charged with offences relating to a property in Longmead Terrace, Bath, between March and June last year.

They allege that Reid knowingly permitted crack cocaine, a Class A drug, to be produced on the premises.

The athlete is also accused of having a Glock handgun, magazine, silencer and ammunition in his possession at the address.

He is alleged to have concealed criminal property, namely £23,060, in a chest of drawers at the property.

It is also said that Reid, of Longmead Terrace, Bath, acquired “a sum unknown” knowing or suspecting it was from criminal conduct.

Reid spoke only to confirm his identity and enter not guilty pleas to the eight charges against him during the court hearing.

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Judge Michael Longman adjourned the case for a further hearing at Bristol Crown Court on July 23rd.

Prosecuting, Jacob Hallam QC told the court: “These 18 defendants in total are before the court in relation to allegations that stem, broadly speaking, from the supply of Class A drugs, particularly cocaine, in the South West of England, principally in Bristol and Bath.”

Mr Hallam said the case is likely to be split into at least three separate trials due to the number of defendants and Covid-19 restrictions.

The first trial is due to take place on November 29 this year.

Reid denies permitting premises to be used in the production of a Class A controlled drug, possessing a firearm without a certificate and possessing ammunition without a certificate.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, concealing criminal property and acquiring criminal property.

Judge Longman released Reid on bail, along with 14 of the other defendants. Three of those charged in relation to the case were remanded into custody.

In a statement issued after Reid was charged, Athletics Ireland said: “Athletics Ireland has been notified today that an Irish international athlete, Leon Reid, has been charged with a criminal offence outside the jurisdiction of Ireland.

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“Athletics Ireland cannot comment further until all elements of due process have been completed.”

Reid competed for Great Britain, winning a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in 2013, but later chose to represent Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He won a bronze medal for Northern Ireland in the 200m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The other defendants in the case are: Adil Riaz, 31, of no fixed address, Jevaughn Rose, 27, of Nottingham, Mehmet Sanci, 34, of Swindon, Wiltshire, Robert Dent, 40, of Knowle West, Bristol, James Hele, 36, of Bedminster, Bristol, Romaine Hyman, 29, of no fixed address, Anthony Perkins, 44, of Twerton, Bath, Corneliu Preda, 34, of Saltford, Bristol, Garfield Prehay, 34, of Wembley, north-west London, Pavel Purkin, 32, of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, Tobias Slender, 42, of Cheltenham, Michelle Bray, 34, of Bedminster, Bristol, Kate Dent, 40, of Knowle West, Bristol, Tekla Selassie, 18, of Bath, Vitali Shcherbak, 34, of Southall, west London, Toni Swaby, 26, of Twerton, Bath, and Sheikh Rouf, 34, of no fixed address.

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