A former cricket starlet who had dreams of turning pro has been jailed alongside two university graduates for their involvement in a huge drugs plots. Nicholas Doyle’s ambitions as an ‘extremely promising’ cricketer were dashed after injury cut short his playing career.
The 28-year-old has now been locked up for seven years and two months after his shocking descent into drug dealing was uncovered. Michalis Papangelis, 28, an ‘intelligent and ‘well educated’ graduate from an ‘excellent background’, and Salford University graduate Daniel Moscrop, 35, have also been sentenced to 12 years and nine months and three years and nine months in prison respectively.
Their involvement in large scale drug dealing was revealed by the law enforcement hack of the encrypted EncroChat network, when messages they believed were secret came back to haunt them. Police learned Papangelis, who lived in a plush apartment block in Ancoats, was involved in commercial drug dealing and was linked to about 25 kilos of cocaine.
Alongside Moscrop, from Wythenshawe, and Doyle, from Failsworth, Papangelis was embroiled in a plot to flood the streets with around 22 kilos of ketamine.
And, Papangelis and Moscrop were also involved in plans to deal about 10 kilos of heroin, Manchester Crown Court heard.
After authorities in Europe cracked the highly secretive platform, messages sent within the network were handed to UK forces including GMP. Officers poured over the incriminating chats and learned that all three men had been operating under aliases, using EncroChat handles, or usernames, to arrange drug deals.
Papangelis used the handle ‘Tim Henman’, Doyle was known as ‘Terry Venables’ and Moscrop as ‘Mannypacman’. The drugs conspiracies were ‘orchestrated’ by another EncroChat users known as ‘Mike Bassett’, prosecutor Andrew Smith alleged.
Doyle and Moscrop were both previously unknown to the courts, while Papangelis only had one previous conviction. Mr Smith described the plots as ‘serious’ and ‘high level, commercial’ conspiracies.
Doyle’s barrister Simeon Evans told how the defendant had been an ‘extremely promising cricketer’ who had dreams of turning professional. But he became depressed after a ‘botched’ operation following a wrist injury caused him ‘lasting’ damage and cut short his cricket career.
“He fell into depression when he realised that career was no longer open to him,” Mr Evans said. Doyle began to self medicate with drugs and eventually descended into drug dealing.
“He has fallen a long way, he knows the concern and the shame it has brought upon his friends and family,” the barrister added.
Defending, Michael Scholes described Papangelis as a ‘bright, articulate, intelligent, well educated young man’ who comes from an ‘excellent background’.
He said Papangelis’ downfall came after he was attracted to the ‘bright lights of Manchester’, and started using cocaine. Papangelis built up drug debts and became introduced to suppliers, before deciding to use his ‘intellect’ and ‘acumen’ in ‘entirely the wrong direction’, Mr Scholes said.
“He has accepted his fate, he is very remorseful,” the barrister added. “To say he has learned his lesson would be the understatement of the year.”
Moscrop, who graduated with a 2:1 from Salford University, became involved after acquiring drug debts, his barrister Sarah Johnston said. “He has disappointed and shocked many by his offending in this case,” the barrister said.
She said Doyle had ‘fallen off the right path’ but was ‘almost certain to return to it’. Doyle, of Medlock Road, Failsworth, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply ketamine, possessing cannabis and possession with intent to supply cocaine.
Papangelis, of Munday Street, Manchester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, ketamine and cannabis. Moscrop, of Munro Avenue, Wythenshawe, admitted conspiracy to supply ketamine and cannabis and possessing cannabis.
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