Irish athlete Leon Reid in UK court on drug and weapons charges

26-year-old sprinter appeared at Bristol Crown Court with 17 other defendants

Ireland’s Leon Reid: facing  drug and weapons charges. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland’s Leon Reid: facing drug and weapons charges. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Irish international athlete Leon Reid has denied eight charges relating to drugs and firearms offences in England.

The 26-year-old sprinter appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video-link along with 17 other defendants on Wednesday.

He is charged with offences relating to a property in Longmead Terrace, Bath, between March and June last year.

They allege that Mr Reid knowingly permitted crack cocaine, a Class A drug, to be produced on the premises.

The athlete is also accused of having a Glock handgun, magazine, silencer and ammunition in his possession at the address.

He is alleged to have concealed criminal property, namely £23,060, in a chest of drawers at the property.

It is also said that Mr Reid, of Longmead Terrace, Bath, acquired “a sum unknown” knowing or suspecting it was from criminal conduct.

Reid spoke only to confirm his identity and enter not guilty pleas to the eight charges against him during the court hearing.

Judge Michael Longman adjourned the case for a further hearing at Bristol Crown Court on July 23rd.

Prosecuting, Jacob Hallam QC told the court: “These 18 defendants in total are before the court in relation to allegations that stem, broadly speaking, from the supply of Class A drugs, particularly cocaine, in the South West of England, principally in Bristol and Bath.”

Mr Hallam said the case is likely to be split into at least three separate trials due to the number of defendants and Covid-19 restrictions.

The first trial is due to take place on November 29th.

Mr Reid denies permitting premises to be used in the production of a Class A controlled drug, possessing a firearm without a certificate and possessing ammunition without a certificate.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, concealing criminal property and acquiring criminal property.

Judge Longman released Mr Reid on bail, along with 14 of the other defendants. Three of those charged in relation to the case were remanded into custody.

Mr Reid competed for Great Britain, winning a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in 2013, but later chose to represent Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He won a bronze medal for Northern Ireland in the 200m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. –PA