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Drug-dealing footballer back on the pitch hours after sentencing

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Brockenhurst FC's ground in Grigg Lane
Brockenhurst FC's ground in Grigg Lane

A DRUG-DEALING footballer was back playing for his New Forest club hours after being sentenced for possessing a huge stash of cannabis.

Jude Nwachukwu was pulled over by police last year, and a subsequent search of his flat uncovered cannabis with a street value of £12,840 plus a safe box containing £8,500 in cash.

The 25-year-old was given a two-year suspended prison sentence at Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday.

Despite his conviction there has still been no word from Brockenhurst Football Club over the conduct of its player.

On Tuesday night he played the full 90 minutes of Brockenhurst FC’s 3-0 home loss to Portland Utd in the Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Premier division.

The club says it prides itself on its commitment to youth football with teams starting as young as under-6s.

When the A&T contacted the club for a comment on Nwachukwu’s conviction no one was picking up the phone. Emails to its president David Standsbridge, and chairman Ian Allen were not returned.

Just prior to the Portland match starting, Nwachukwu, who has played in several positions for the club, tweeted that he was “pumped up” to be a part of it.

Jude Nwachukwu plays for Brockenhurst FC
Jude Nwachukwu plays for Brockenhurst FC

The tweet was liked by Brockenhurst FC, first-team manager Pat McManus and some of Nwachukwu’s teammates.

When asked by the A&T about whether action would be taken by the league against the player, Sydenhams league president Dennis Challis did not rule it out.

“We are obviously concerned about this matter,” he said. “And will be seeking advice from the Football Association on what action, if any, we as a league are permitted to take.”

Nwachukwu, who was signed by the club in 2015 and previously played for Blackfield and Langley FC, appeared at court having already pleaded guilty to possessing the class B drug with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Jane Rowley said the defendant had been driving his car in Southampton on 12th May last year when he was stopped by police officers. He drew suspicion after behaving impatiently as he waited at a red light.

There was a strong smell of cannabis in the vehicle, she said, and when Nwachukwu was searched by officers at the roadside they found numerous bags of the drug and £800 in cash.

In his locked bedroom in Southampton officers found £8,500 in cash in a safe box, and cannabis prepared for sale with a street value of £12,840.

Judge Christopher Parker QC told him: “You have escaped prison by the thinnest of possible whiskers here. You have been given a chance – make sure you take it.”

Nwachukwu was also ordered to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work in the community. Costs will be decided after a proceeds of crime hearing later this year.

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