Drug dealing footballer was caught with half a kilo of cocaine

Former Lowestoft Town defender Rory McAuley.

Former Lowestoft Town defender Rory McAuley. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A former Lowestoft Town footballer could face 11 years in prison for drug dealing offences after being caught with half a kilo of cocaine.

Rory McAuley, 31, of George Fox Way, Norwich, pleaded guilty last October to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

A hearing at Norwich Court Crown on Thursday, February 17, was told he will be sentenced later this year for the offences that involve a “not an insignificant quality of class A drugs, sold over a period of time for personal gain”. 

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said: “He was found with half a kilo of cocaine on the day of his arrest and there are several days worth of text messages which we say are indicative of dealing on previous occasions. 

“Of course, whilst Mr McAuley alone knows what the sort of quantities involved were, the Crown would suggest similar quantities, but even if you pared it right back to perhaps only 100g on each of those occasions one would still have half a kilo.” 

The court heard the prosecution and defence disagree on how the footballer should be sentenced.

The prosecution argue his offences fall into category two which carries an indicative starting point of 11 years in prison, while the defence say they fall into category three which carries a lesser sentence. 

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McAuley's barrister, Jenni Dempster, said there was “no direct evidence whatsoever of the quantities of drugs involved” in relation to text messages.

The footballer appeared in court alongside his co-accused Ismail Thompson, 29, of Harsnett Close, Norwich, who has pleaded guilty to charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possessing cocaine.

A third defendant, Andrew Wallace, 34, of Fakenham Road, Great Witchingham, who has admitted charges including the supply of cocaine and possessing cocaine and cannabis, failed to appear at court. 

Judge Anthony Bate adjourned the sentencing until March 24.

The defender, who joined King's Lynn Town from the Trawlerboys in 2018, was suspended from all football-related activities at the west Norfolk club in June 2021 following his arrest. 

He left the club in September and has since signed for Bedford Town FC.