A former Wolverhampton Wanderers trainee has been sentenced to jail in connection with a significant drug operation. The disgraced ex-footballer was found to possess a staggering £100,000 worth of cocaine in his vehicle, leading to his arrest and subsequent trial.
Andrew Debont 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. De Bont’s career started at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he began as a trainee. Although he signed a professional contract with the club, he never had the opportunity to play a first-team match for them. His senior debut came in 1995 while on loan at Hartlepool United. Later, he had another loan stint in February 1996 with Hereford United, managed by his former Wolves coach Graham Turner, during which he featured in eight matches.
During the court proceedings, prosecuting barrister David Maidstone revealed shocking details about the ex-footballers involvement in drug trafficking. Officers discovered three blocks of cocaine, meticulously wrapped in cling film, with an estimated street value of around £103,000 inside his van. A subsequent search of De Bont’s home in Sedgley, near Dudley, led to the discovery of electronic scales and bank cards contaminated with traces of cocaine. Moreover, investigators also found substances used to dilute drugs, indicating that his residence was being used to prepare Class A drugs for sale.
De Bont’s barrister, Callum Ross, in defence of his client, portrayed the former footballer as a victim of circumstances, emphasising his genuine regret and remorse. Ross argued that De Bont was just a pawn in a more extensive drug operation, coerced and intimidated into playing the role of a courier. He pointed out that the ex-Wolves youth player was far from being the mastermind behind the drug trafficking but rather a vulnerable individual who had succumbed to the pressures of addiction and debt repayment.
Despite the defence’s efforts, His Honour Judge Timothy Petts delivered a firm and unequivocal judgment. The judge rejected the possibility of suspending the sentence, stating that such a course of action would be “exceptional” in this case. He acknowledged De Bont’s vulnerability but stressed that the former player had willingly engaged in drug trafficking. The court’s decision, therefore, was an immediate jail sentence, with De Bont having to spend half of his term behind bars before being released on license.