Exmouth: BMX star turned drug dealer is jailed

PUBLISHED: 16:50 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 05 February 2018

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Archant

Stephen Collins, aged 24, of Featherstone Road, Exmouth, admitted wounding and possession of ecstasy, also known as MDMA, with intent to supply. Collins used illegal drugs to cope with the pain from a series of leg operations but it led to him running up debts to dealers who bullied him into working for him. He was jailed for two years and eight months at Exeter Crown Court.

A young BMX star from Exmouth has been jailed after he turned to drug dealing when injury wrecked his career.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Stephen Collins used illegal drugs to cope with the pain from a series of leg operations but it led to him running up debts to dealers who bullied him into working for him.

He was caught with 50 ecstasy tablets when police stopped him in Exmouth and although he threw them over a hedge into a garden, officers recovered the stash.

There were also messages on his mobile phone, showing he had been selling the ‘Ace of Spades’ ecstasy tablets and making his own threats to customers who did not pay their debts.

Collins claimed he was acting under pressure from a creditor named Rikki McIlveen and he used a screwdriver to stab the man during a confrontation in the street.

Collins, aged 24, of Featherstone Road, Exmouth, admitted wounding and possession of ecstasy, also known as MDMA, with intent to supply.

He was jailed for two years and eight months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

The Judge told him: “The background to these offences is that you sustained an injury in a sporting accident which led to pain and endurance of that pain led you to turn to Ketamine, and this led to dependence.

“This led to debt, and this led to pressure. In addition, you needed money to buy Ketamine and you got involved in dealing drugs as a result of some pressure from those to whom you owed money.

“Your involvement in the drugs world carried the live possibility of violence. It would seem you were assaulted by Mr McIlveen in December 2016 and in February 2017 there was a further incidence of violence between the two of you.”

Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Collins was first arrested in November 2015 when a member of the public reported him for driving erratically and his car was stopped in Marpool Hill, Exmouth.

He threw a bag containing 50 Ace of Spades MDMA tablets into a garden but they were recovered. Texts on his phone showed he was selling the drugs to a network of contacts and buying more when he needed them.

The court heard how in February 2017, Mr McIlveen got out of his car and approached Collins; they were both parked in Beacon Hill, Exmouth. .

Collins got a weapon, which he later said was a screwdriver, and stabbed Mr McIlveen in the arms and chest, causing two wounds which needed stitches. He called police to tell them what he had done.

Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said Collins is a hard working family man with two stepchildren and an 18-month-old child.

He had been a talented sportsman in his teens but had suffered a serious injury which led him indirectly into the world of drugs. He said he was pressured into dealing and threats had been made against him and his family, culminating in the assault in December 2016.

Mr Bremridge said Collins is now working with the addiction service Rise and acting as a house husband by looking after the family while his wife goes to work.

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