Two individuals apprehended in a proactive police and security operation aimed at combating drug-related activities during this year’s Leeds Festival have been sentenced to prison. These men constitute the remaining suspects from an initial group of six individuals apprehended at the August event, who have been in custody since their summer arrests.
Today, Joshua Hague, 20, from Parkview, Worsbrough, Barnsley, and Wade Taylor, 18, from High Street, Barnsley, were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court.
Hague admitted guilt to two charges of possessing cocaine and MDMA with intent to supply.
Taylor pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine with intent to supply, in addition to possessing criminal property related to recovered cash.
Both were handed 45-month sentences in a young offenders institution.
On August 24, the two were spotted in a sizable group within the campsite and attempted to flee upon being approached by security and police. They were apprehended nearby and found in possession of controlled substances. Cash was seized, and additional drugs were discovered in their tents.
The estimated value of the drugs seized from them was £32,270, calculated based on the elevated street prices during the festival.
This imprisonment follows recent sentencings of four other drug dealers captured at Leeds Festival earlier this year.
On October 27, Corin Armitage and Cody Harper were sentenced after being caught with significant quantities of cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine at the festival site on August 23. The drugs were valued at £8,910. Armitage received a three-year sentence, while Harper was sentenced to 30 months.
On October 18, Daniel Matthews and Robert Kurzweil were sentenced for drug-related offenses at the festival site on August 25. Kurzweil, 27, from Selby Drive, Manchester, received a 36-month prison term, and Matthews, 29, from Frodsham Road, Manchester, was jailed for 32 months. Both admitted two charges of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.
The arrests were part of a broader operation targeting drugs at the festival, led by specialized detectives from Leeds District’s Programme Precision team. A total of 56 people were arrested on suspicion of drug supply offenses during the event, with the majority still on bail or released under investigation as inquiries continue.
Superintendent Dan Wood, who led the policing operation for Leeds Festival, said: “The significant prison sentences that these offenders have now received should send a very clear message to anyone who thinks they can target this event to profit from the criminal trade in dangerous illegal substances.
“These seven arrived at the festival site in August to cynically make money from selling drugs, but they never went home again and are now starting lengthy periods in prison.
“We have very sadly seen the tragic consequences that can result from young people taking drugs, and this year we had an increased focus on drugs offences, working closely alongside Festival Republic to support their safety and security operation at the festival site.
“We anticipate further charges and lengthy prison sentences will result from the ongoing investigations into others who were arrested.
“We will be continuing to work with Festival Republic next year to support their safety operation, with a particular focus on drugs offences, and we hope these latest convictions from this year’s operation will help to serve as a very strong deterrent.”