Nine young men, including students from the University of Bath, have been sentenced after police discovered what they described as a drug ’marketplace’ on a Bath student’s WhatsApp.
Richard Posner, the Senior Crown Advocate of the CPS South West, stated that “the sellers collaborated with each other to sell drugs and referrals were common. Advertising, incentives, raffles and loyalty rewards were used to boost sales’’.
The three-year investigation has been taking place since November 2017, when almost 2,000 messages were found on 24-year-old Nathan Kelly’s phone after the police caught a drugs parcel that was addressed to his student accommodation in Bath. The investigation concluded with the sentencing of nine people on Friday the 12th February at Bristol Crown Court.
Nathan Kelly, the Bath student who was first apprehended by the police, has received a sentence of two years and nine months in prison. The other offenders have received sentences of varying lengths, with the longest sentence amounting to three years and nine months in prison.
A University of Bath spokesperson said: “Our priority is always the wellbeing and safety of our students, staff and visitors and we take this matter very seriously. The University is clear that possession or supply of illegal drugs is cause for disciplinary action, as outlined in our student regulations. Our induction programme for all new students highlights how seriously we take the possession of illegal drugs; something which is underpinned by the vigilance of our security team.”