Brighouse camping entrepreneur sold drugs within tent at Leeds Festival

Jacob Hill
Jacob Hill

A young entrepreneur whose camping business earned the backing of Richard Branson has been jailed for selling class A drugs - from his tent at Leeds Music Festival.

A court heard Jacob Hill, 22, a former Yorkshire Ambassador for Virgin Media Pioneers, was caught red-handed with bags of MDMA and cannabis at the event in August last year.

Hill - due to graduate from university later this month - is the founder of The Lazy Camper, a firm which specialises in hiring tents to festival-goers.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hill was arrested at the major music event on August 23 last year after security guards overheard two young women say they were going to a tent to buy some Es.

They followed the women to Hill’s tent and were then offered drugs.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said the security officers identified themselves and Hill tried to run away.

He was detained and found in possession of 14 bags of cannabis and nine bags of MDMA.

Police were called to the scene and Hill admitted he had more drugs in his car. Further amounts of skunk cannabis were found in the vehicle.

The total value of the drugs was £1,751.

Hill, of Anvil Street, Brighouse, pleaded guilty to possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply

His barrister Ben Campbell said: ”This is a sad case because this is an intelligent, able and high achieving young man.

“He, in reality, rose too high, too soon. He has an entrepreneurial past and he has taken an interest in the business world from a young age.

“At one stage he was sponsored by Richard Branson and won a variety of awards from his ideas.”

Mr Campbell said Hill’s offending came at a time when he fell into debt - as much as £17,000 - as his business venture required a great deal of investment.

The barrister added: “He found himself in a big hole and he took wholly the wrong option to try and get himself out of this.”

The court heard Hill and his business partner are continuing to run the company and currently have links with the TT races in the Isle of Man, the North West 200 festival and are also involved with church events.

The court heard Hill had recently finished his degree, achieving a 2:1, and drew on the experiences of his arrest in his dissertation.

Mr Campbell urged Ray Recorder to take an exceptional course and not to impose an immediate prison sentence.

He added: “He is a young man capable of making not just significant but an extremely beneficial contribution to society.”

He was jailed for 28 months.

Recorder Ray Singh said: “You are an intelligent young man and you have had an excellent start in life.

“Both your parents are professional individuals and no doubt brought you up to know right from wrong.

“You do not come from a broken background, you have had all the trappings one would associate with the education you have had.

“As a result of getting into debt you took a conscious decision to supply drugs. I find it extraordinary that you, a person with your background and calibre, has got involved in dealing class A drugs.”