Ex-Hereford player Andrew De Bont caught is jailed

Andrew Cornelius De Bont must serve half of his two-year and 11-month sentence in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Mold Crown Court heard De Bont – who was part of the Hereford side that was relegated from the Football League in 1997 – was “by no means the mastermind of the operation” but became a courier to pay back his “significant” drug debt.

The 49-year-old was travelling to Aberystwyth with 825 grams of cocaine in his Vauxhall van when he was stopped by police on the Newtown Bypass in Powys on October 22, 2020.


Prosecuting barrister David Maidstone told the court on Thursday, August 3, that officers seized three clingfilmed blocks of cocaine from his van which had a street value of around £103,000.

When officers searched De Bont’s home in Sedgley, near Dudley, they found electronic scales and bank cards with traces of cocaine, and substances used to dilute drugs which Mr Maidstone said had indicated his home was being used to prepare Class A drugs for sale.

De Bont’s barrister Callum Ross said the former football league player’s regret and remorse was genuine.

“This is a defendant who performed a limited function under directions as a courier,” Mr Ross said. “A man the court will have noted who was to some degree vulnerable and who was engaged by some level of pressure, coercion and intimidation.

“He was by no means the mastermind of this operation; in my submission it was quite the opposite. He should not have involved himself and he had other options available at the time.

“He was simply meeting his own habit in paying back his debt as a drug user and addict of cocaine.

“He was not influencing higher up the chain, he was following instructions.This is a man who needs help. He knows the likely result is prison. He has shown he will continue to remain out of trouble.”

His Honour Judge Timothy Petts told De Bont it had to be an immediate jail sentence because suspending it would be an “exceptional course of action”.

The judge said: “The prosecution does not accept that you were under threat. But I accept you were vulnerable acting in this way.”

De Bont, of Townsend Avenue, Sedgley, Dudley, must spend half his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Adblock test (Why?)