Promising footballer seduced by easy drugs money is jailed for 12 years

The Liverpool footballer was arrested at Manchester Airport after being identified as Encrochat dealer ’Sounddill’.
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A talented footballer’s hopes of a top flight professional career lie in ruins after he was jailed on Monday for 12 years.

A judge heard that Sean Calvert had become involved in large scale Encrochat drug dealing after being “seduced by the prospects of easy money.”

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His lawyer said those who get involved are told “’You are invulnerable, no one will catch you’ - and we have seen over the last few years if ever an advertising slogan failed it was that one.”

Calvert, who used to play for Liverpool AFC, admitted three conspiracy to supply charges involving cocaine, heroin and cannabis and one of money laundering.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the offences spanned six months ending in June 2020 and Calvert, 25, who was using the handle ’Sounddill’ was involved with 26 kilos of Class A drugs and 110kg of cannabis.

Discussion about the movement of money, payment and debts referred to about £220,000 cash and Calvert, who was arrested at Manchester Airport on July 18 this year had had 96 different Encrochat handles saved within his contacts, said Nicola Daley, prosecuting.

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Sean Calvert was sentenced to 12 years in jail at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside Police Sean Calvert was sentenced to 12 years in jail at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside Police
Sean Calvert was sentenced to 12 years in jail at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside Police

She said that “as well as other handles referring to him as ‘Calv’ and him referring to various family members and their addresses and dates of birth, the police were able to attribute the handle to the defendant as within messages, ‘Sounddill’ referred to the fact that he had played football in China.

“Specifically for AFC Liverpool and in one of the images, there was a picture of his hand. From that image, a fingerprint expert has been able to indicate that it matched that of the defendant.

“In terms of role, the defendant appears to have been in business and working alongside another handle ‘Emuvest’. They were purchasing kg quantities of Class A drugs, which were then broken down to be supplied via various ‘graft’ phone lines, which were run by others,” she said.

Michael Scholes, defending said that Calvert, of Fairclough Road, Huyton, had no similar previous convictions. “He has gone in very much at the deep end and has no illusions about what fate has in store.”

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He told the court, “He is an extremely talented amateur footballer who hoped to pursue a career in the professional game.”

Mr Scholes said that while there are stories in the press about footballers exported to Saudi Arabia for vast sums there are others who fall by the wayside and “he is one of those who fell.”

Jailing the defendant, Judge Garrett Byrne, who described it as a “very sad” case, said, “From Encrochat evidence you were deeply entrenched in the supply of these drugs.”