( despite what the journalist claims below possession of anabolic steroids for personal use isn’t illegal in the UK. )
A Police officer muscleman supplied steroids to fellow bodybuilders and turned a blind eye to their drug dealings, a court heard.
Darren Towers, a custody sergeant with Northumbria Police, is accused of conspiring with two other men to supply the class C drugs.
Towers, 41, from Jarrow, South Tyneside, is also alleged to have committed misconduct in public office by failing to investigate the other two despite knowing they were involved in criminal activity.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Towers, a keen bodybuilder, had bought and sold steroids to share between a group of friends he knew from a gym where he worked out.
The other two men, Martin Flett and Martin Fannan, have already pleaded guilty to the drug charge but Towers denies that and misconduct.
Alex Menary, prosecuting, said: “The defendant is a serving police officer, a custody sergeant with Northumbria Police.
“Flett lived close to the defendant and they trained at the same gym and all three are linked by their involvement in bodybuilding and their use of steroids. The prosecution say all three conspired to supply steroids among themselves and to others.
“This is not a case of standing on street corners, this is on a low-level basis among users of these drugs and friends and associates in the gym where they trained.
“He also misconducted himself by failing to report the activities of Flett and Fannan. He knew these two were dealing steroids and failed to report and investigate that.”
Towers, a police officer with Northumbria since 1998, was working as a custody sergeant in Sunderland at the time of his arrest. Officers went to his home in March and he was arrested and a stash of steroids and tablets was found. When Towers’ phone was analysed there were hundreds of text messages between him and Flett, which prosecutors say were to set up deals. In one of the texts Towers is said to have told Flett: “Don’t forget to delete this message.”
Mr Menary said: “He knows text messages leave a trail and a saying ‘don’t forget to delete this’ as he doesn’t want to leave a trail.”
Jurors were told Towers must have known steroids were illegal as he allegedly checked the police computer system to see what their legal status was. When he was arrested, Towers said he had done some research on the internet and claimed he didn’t think steroids were illegal.
He said he had been using the drugs since 2006 but denied selling them to others, saying he knew Flett but had never given him anything other than legal protein powder.
Prosecutors say the steroids were obtained from various sources but mainly from a firm called Wildcat.
Flett, 27, of Ely Way, Fellgate, Jarrow, and Fannan, 34, of Hudson Avenue, Horden, County Durham, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to supply drugs charge.
Towers denies conspiracy to supply drugs and misconduct between April 1, 2009, and April 1, 2010.