A promising boxer at Bushey Boxing Club has been spared prison after a judge decided he joined a County Lines drugs gang to help his hard-pressed mother with housekeeping money.
Kian May was just 16 when he was recruited by a Watford-based gang which set up shop in Exeter after travelling to Devon in a hired car.
His mother was bringing up six siblings on her own after splitting up with her partner, who is a former professional boxer, the court was told.
May was arrested with another 16-year-old as he walked along the river towards the Quay. May had no drugs or cash on him.
Surveillance and phone evidence showed he had travelled down with the gang and sent texts offering drugs on their behalf.
He was freed on a community order after a judge heard how he has stayed out of trouble since his arrest in May 2018 and is now working as a labourer and training at a boxing gym.
May, now 18, of Starling Place, Watford, admitted conspiracy to supply class A heroin and cocaine and was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and ten rehabilitation activity days and pay £500 costs by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him: “I take into account that this is your first brush with the law and what you have done since being arrested to turn your life around.”
A text on his phone showed he told a girlfriend in Watford that he was doing it to make money to give to his mother.
Greg Richardson, defending, said May has now settled down and got a job.
He now helps his mother by paying for his keep out of his wages and looking after his younger siblings.