A Hull gym owner and drug dealer who was caught with over £38,000 worth of anabolic steroids claimed he was trying to create a “safe environment” for users.
On the morning of October 5, 2018, police executed search warrants at the Metro Gym in Hull and at the home of its owner Simon Flinders in Welton.
When officers asked if there were any drugs on site Flinders pointed to a cabinet in the gym’s kitchen area where a drawer of anabolic steroids with packages labelled with clients names.
“There were nine separate packages with the names of individuals who were to receive them,” said prosecuting barrister Rachel Scott at Hull Crown Court.
“Police searched a cupboard in the gym and found a number of boxes of syringes and needles. Behind the till officers seized a number of tablets and a large amount of cash which had not been counted.”
Police found 88 ten millilitre vials of anabolic steroids as well 1,700 tablets at the gym. A further search of Flinders home and his car uncovered over 300 vials and over 9,000 tablets.
It is estimated that the total value of the steroids found would have made £38,286 on the street.
Flinders, who was previously convicted of selling class B drugs in 2003, appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday (October 12) to be sentenced for three counts of possession with intent to supply anabolic steroids, a Class C drug.
Mitigating barrister Mark Savage told the court that Flinders claimed he was trying to “do the right thing in the wrong way” for those who use anabolic steroids.
Recorder Algazy QC asked Mr Savage: “What do you mean he was trying to do the right thing?”
Mr Savage replied: “In what was his profession he was fully aware of the abuse of steroids and he will say that he was simply trying to make a safe environment.
“He concedes that he could have and should have dealt with matters differently.
“He has tried to assist in educating those who would use steroids and to use them sensibly. There is a large market for steroids.
“It is not deflecting culpability. His concern is that those who use steroids do so with education and knowing the side effects. It does not excuse what he has done.”
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Unimpressed by this submission Recorder Algazy sentenced Flinders to 12 months in prison stating that he used the gym “as a cover for this criminal venture”.
He added: “Looking at matters reducing the seriousness of your criminality in this particular series of offences there is little that can be said on your behalf.
“That you tried to do the right thing in the wrong way I am unimpressed by that submission.
“I am equally unimpressed by the argument that you are not seeking to deflect responsibility and the remarks made by you recently are unfortunate to say the least.”