Herbie Hide admits conspiracy to supply cocaine

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Media captionHerbie Hide has had several brushes with the law

Former world champion boxer Herbie Hide has admitted a drugs charge after he was secretly filmed by a newspaper apparently arranging a drug deal.

Hide, 42, had denied conspiracy to supply cocaine and was due to stand trial at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday. He has now changed his plea.

In February, The Sun claimed Hide had phoned a drug dealer, from whom reporters were able to buy cocaine.

Hide, of Bawburgh, near Norwich, is due to be sentenced on 29 November.

He was warned he faces up to two years in prison.

In an interview with the BBC in February, Hide said the story was "manufactured" and he had been seen as a "vulnerable" target.

He told BBC Look East he did not put the men in touch with a drug dealer and a man who claimed he supplied drugs was "a boy who was just showing off."

'Stitch me up'

Hide, who held the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) version of the heavyweight title between 1997 and 1999, said reporters were "putting things in my mouth".

When asked if he thought he was vulnerable, he agreed, and said his parents tried to stop him going out "because when I go out people try to stitch me up".

"I'm not as smart as you are, or anyone else," he said, in tears.

He was granted bail with conditions, including that he reports to police in Norwich every day.

His barrister Adam Budworth said this would involve Hide, who is banned from driving, "riding a bicycle" to Bethel Street police station.

After the hearing, a Sun spokesman said: "We are pleased that Mr Hide has admitted conspiring to supply cocaine. The Sun's investigation into Herbie Hide was public interest journalism at its best that exposed the dealing of class A drugs."

Ben Sharman, 22, of Howe Lane, Poringland, Norfolk, was also arrested following the newspaper's investigation.

He had previously admitted conspiracy to supply a class A drug, offering to supply a class A drug and offering to supply a class B drug.

Sharman, who was remanded in custody, will also be sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court in November.

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