A teenager from Lindley has been given a suspended sentence after he was caught dealing drugs at Leeds Festival.

Aaron Ryan had sent text messages telling people he would be selling “pills, coke and buddha” at the huge event last summer.

But Duncan Ritchie prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court a covert security officer who was working on the Bramham Park site on August 29 saw Ryan behaving suspiciously.

He was moving around a camp site talking to people outside their tents and was seen to have large amount of cash in his hand which he put into a “bum bag”.

Ryan was found to have £1,186 in cash as well as a mobile phone and a bag containing various quantities of drugs. He admitted he had been selling drugs and said he needed to make the money or he would be killed.

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His bag of drugs was found to contain 15 packages of cocaine weighing a total 7.97 grammes, 11 Ecstasy tablets in grip seal bags, five packs of ketamine and just under three and a half grammes of skunk or herbal cannabis.

Mr Ritchie said Ryan’s tent was also searched and a further 1.93 grammes of cocaine was discovered. The drugs recovered were estimated to be worth around £552.

His mobile phone was examined and messages were found on it relating to drugs including one he had sent to 32 people indicating he would be selling “pills, coke and buddha” at the festival adding “If anybody needs me holler.”

One person had messaged him asking if he could have a gramme of cocaine for £40 and was told by Ryan it would cost £45.

A wrap of crack cocaine
A wrap of crack cocaine

Mark Brookes representing Ryan said he had never been in trouble before and had become involved supplying to pay of a drug debt.

After being bullied at school he had started experimenting with cannabis when he was only 14 or 15. He then began taking Ecstasy both in tablet and powder form before progressing to cocaine.

That had brought him into contact with hardened people who thought nothing of making threats when he could not pay them. He was now doing a college course, had the offer of a job and wanted to put drugs and offending behind him.

Ryan, 19 of Stanley Road, Lindley, admitted possessing cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and ketamine with intent to supply and was given a two-year sentence in a young offender institution suspended for 18 months with 200 hours unpaid work.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told him the offences were serious and most people caught dealing Class A drugs went to jail immediately. But he said because of his age and previous good character “in this particular case I am prepared to give you a chance in the hope you have learnt your lesson.”