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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Drug charge footballer faces jail
Mark Ward
Mark Ward has also played for Birmingham City
Ex-Premiership footballer Mark Ward is facing jail after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

The 42-year-old, who played for Everton, Manchester City and West Ham, admitted the charge via a video link at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was arrested after four kilos (9lb) of cocaine were found during a raid at a house in Prescot, Merseyside, in May.

Ward admitted knowing the drugs were on the premises but denied owning them. He will appear again on 4 October.

Precisely what he was doing in the premises doesn't matter. More to the point is whose were the drugs?
Nicholas Johnson, defending

Prosecution barrister Henry Riding told the court: "The defendant played an active role in the cutting and distribution of drugs within that premises and their onward distribution thereafter."

A large amount of a chemical used to cut pure drugs was also discovered during the raid at the house, which Ward rented.

His barrister Nicholas Johnson said: "Whether or not he was involved in cutting up drugs probably makes no difference, being as he knew they were there, as he was responsible for renting the premises and visiting there on a regular basis.

"The question is whether or not he had a proprietary interest in the drugs, or was he keeping the drugs for somebody else?

"Precisely what he was doing in the premises doesn't matter. More to the point is whose were the drugs?"

In custody

A Newton hearing will be held to determine what role Ward played in the drug operation, and he will be sentenced afterwards.

Such hearings take place when the defendant has pleaded guilty to the offence but on the basis of a different version of the facts.

Judge John Phipps warned him: "With an offence of this type, a prison sentence is inevitable."

Ward, who spoke only to confirm his details, has been in custody since his arrest.

Former footballer on drug charges
19 May 05 |  Merseyside
Ex-Everton player on drugs charge
14 May 05 |  Merseyside

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