Student sold drugs at his university to pay for his tuition fees

Sean Lisgo
Sean Lisgo

A university student turned to selling drugs to other undergradutaes at his halls of residence in order to fund his tuition fees.

Sean Lisgo, originally from Washington, was jailed for more than three years after security officers found cocaine, LSD and ketamine in his room.

Leeds Crown Court heard the chemical engineering student was in his first week of studies at Leeds University when he was arrested.

Lisgo's barrister said his client had begun selling drugs as he was not able to obtain funding to cover the £9,000-a-year tuition fees.

Dave Mackay, prosecuting, said security officers went to Lisgo's room at Lupton Hall, Alma Road, Headingley, on September 23 last year, after receiving a tip-off that he had been selling drugs.

The room was searched and just under £700 worth of drugs were found along with £300 in cash.

Lisgo was also in possession of two mobile phones.

One of the phones contained a text message linking him to drug supply.

There were over 100 grip-seal bags and a set of digital scales disguised as a CD case in the room.

The defendant admitted that he had sold drugs to about ten other students.

He pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and one of possession of a class B drug with intent to supply.

Ian Hudson, mitigating, said Lisgo was from the north east of England.

He said Lisgo had quit a dead-end factory job to obtain a higher national certificate (HNC) before applying to go to Leeds University.

Mr Hudson said his client had been given reassurances that he could apply for funding to cover his tuition fees for his degree.

The barrister said Lisgo was then told he would not get any money as he had already received funding for the HNC course.

Mr Hudson added: "He found himself in a situation where he could not afford to live."

Lisgo was jailed for three years, four months.

Recorder David Gordon told Lisgo many other students experienced hardship during their studies but were willing to get lawful jobs to maintain themselves.

He said: "It was your choice Mr Lisgo to take a different route and do something that was entirely illegal.

"This was dealing class A drugs on university premises.

"A serious aggravating factor of the case is that here you were at Leeds University,

"Instead of making your first port of call to the library and your tutor's office, you sold drugs from your halls of residence."