Drug dealing footballer jailed

HE HAD the world at his feet but today a professional footballer is in jail after drug dealing on the streets of Ipswich.Joel Kitamirike's sentence was reduced significantly because of glowing references from Chelsea Football Club officials.

HE HAD the world at his feet but today a professional footballer is in jail after drug dealing on the streets of Ipswich.

Joel Kitamirike's sentence was reduced significantly because of glowing references from Chelsea Football Club officials.

However the 24-year-old was sentenced to 20 months in prison after he was caught with drugs in Duke Street, Ipswich.

John Fenn prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court said Kitamirike appeared to be trying to swallow something when police stopped him on September 29 and he spat out six wraps of cocaine, one wrap of heroin and some cannabis.


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Mobile telephones and £344 in cash were also confiscated from him. Skunk cannabis, drug paraphernalia and more than £2,000 in cash was discovered when his address was searched.

Kitamirike of Hoskins Close, London pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing Class A drugs with intent, two charges of supplying Class A drugs and one charge of possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

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Mr Neofytou mitigating said his client was of previous good character and had been on the brink of a very bright football career but was too proud to accept it had gone wrong.

He said the footballer had borrowed money which he could not pay back. Mr Neofytou stressed that the defendant was “a runner” rather than a drug dealer in the fullest sense.

He said: “He had the world at his feet and now finds he has nothing at his feet apart from prison.”

Ugandan born Kitamirike made an appearance for Chelsea aged 17 in a European match alongside Frank Lampard and John Terry and in 2004 was included in the Uganda National Squad for a 2006 World Cup qualifier but was refused because he wished to retain his British citizenship.

After stints in USA, Mansfield, Dundee and Weymouth he joined Chelmsford City in February.

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