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Footballer avoids jail after drugs found stashed in car hit in fatal crash on A249 slip road near Sittingbourne


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A 'gifted' footballer whose car was struck in a crash in which a 15-year-old girl died had drugs stashed in the vehicle at the time, it has been revealed.

Ex-Ebbsfleet and Dartford player Andre Trenton had been returning from collecting cocaine, MDMA, ketamine and cannabis infused sweets when his Audi A3 ran out of fuel.

Andre Trenton was cleared of causing the death of 15-year-old Georgia Mann but admitted six drugs charges
Andre Trenton was cleared of causing the death of 15-year-old Georgia Mann but admitted six drugs charges

He left the vehicle on a slip road joining the A249 at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, and went with a friend to get some petrol.

After returning he was pouring the fuel into the tank when a drunk-driver ploughed into his stranded vehicle – with innocent teenager Georgia Mann, sitting in the back. She later died from her injuries.

At the time, Trenton had been dating Sinead Hayes, whose sister had been best friends with Ms Mann, and both were also passengers in the Audi.

A jury would later return a not guilty verdict against him for causing Ms Mann's death by driving carelessly.

Details of the drugs – which Trenton had stashed without the knowledge of Ms Mann – were not revealed to the earlier jury.

Fifteen-year-old Georgia Mann died after the stranded car she was a passenger in was hit on a slip road
Fifteen-year-old Georgia Mann died after the stranded car she was a passenger in was hit on a slip road

Now Trenton, of Malvern Close, Gillingham, who admitted six drugs charges, including four of intending to supply 2.8 kilos of cannabis-flavoured toffee crumble, cannabis resin and oil and ketamine to his friends, has now received a two-year community order.

Prosecutor Tanya Robinson told Maidstone Crown Court the offences date back to October 2018 when the drugs were found by police who were investigating the death crash.

"That evening he had picked up his then-girlfriend and driven to Ramsgate to collect some drugs," she said. "On the way back he picked up the sister of his girlfriend and her friend Georgia Mann.

"Officers found drugs in a number of different places in the car, including the driver's footwell, the sweets were found in the passenger's side footwell, the glove box and boot."

The prosecutor added there was no suggestion of any link between the crash and drug-taking.

Judge Philip Statman said it was wholly exceptional for the court to pass anything other than an immediate custodial sentence for such drug offences. Picture: Steve Crispe
Judge Philip Statman said it was wholly exceptional for the court to pass anything other than an immediate custodial sentence for such drug offences. Picture: Steve Crispe

Defence barrister Greg Krieger said Trenton, who now works as a fire alarm engineer, told him 2018 and 2019 was a time he "wants to forget and needs to remember".

He said he still felt guilt over the tragedy which was "the nadir" of his life so far – and until then his lifetime ambition had been to become a professional footballer.

"When that proved unlikely it was that, together with the impulsivity and recklessness of youth, that led him to his drug misuse," added Mr Krieger. "It was that sense of failure which led him to seek escape through drink and drugs."

Judge Philip Statman said: "It is wholly exceptional that in a case of supplying drugs for this court to pass anything other than an immediate custodial sentence.

"The supply of drugs in our society is a cancer, which causes despair and degradation to those who use drugs and it wrecks communities."

He added that since the crash Trenton had been through a "torrid" time.

The judge told him: "You were a gifted footballer but failed to make the mark and left the Ebbsfleet club and for a time you were without focus and in my judgment you started to mix with the wrong kind of individuals."

Trenton, who is now with another semi-professional club, was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work for the community but the judge decided not to impose a home curfew order because he wanted him to carry on training.

Following the crash, Georgia, a former pupil at Westlands School in Sittingbourne, was taken to King's College Hospital in London but died from her injuries on October 26, 2018.

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