FORMER Huddersfield Giants and Great Britain prop forward Dale Laughton has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of possessing cocaine.
The 39-year-old, who helped Sheffield Eagles to the shock Challenge Cup final victory over Wigan in 1998 and played for the Giants in 2000 and 2001, had been charged with supplying cocaine at a village music festival in Barnsley last year after police found 32 grammes of cocaine with a street value of £1,463 hidden in his sister’s car.
He had also breached a suspended prison term imposed for assaulting a woman in a pub.
However, Laughton escaped jail after the judge took pity when the former Scotland captain revealed he had turned to drugs when he was forced to end his rugby career because of injury while at Warrington, describing it as being “just like somebody cut my legs off.”
Laughton, a father of three, also revealed his marriage had broken down, he had lost his home and had been left almost penniless because of drugs and alcohol on which he spent £1,000 a week.
Judge Paul Reid, at Sheffield Crown Court, described Laughton as “a sad story” and jailed him for four months, suspended for a year.
He was also made the subject of a 12-month supervision order, must attend a drug rehabilitation course, do 80 hours of unpaid community work and pay £375 costs.