Mike Hassini – who rose to fame on The Only Way Is Essex – plead guilty conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal cash
Former TOWIE star Mike Hassini has been jailed for more than six years.
The reality TV star, 27, has been sent to prison after selling a kilo of cocaine for £36,000.
On April 16, the Essex native – who became a personal trainer after leaving the ITVbe series in 2018 – was seen by police handing a brown cardboard box containing the high-purity Class A drugs to 23-year-old Gary Bear.
The cocaine was found in Bear’s grey Mercedes and £36,495 in cash was discovered in a blue plastic bag in the black Smart car being driven by Hassini, when they were stopped in Hornchurch, east London.
A raid on the home of the parents of Hassini’s girlfriend uncovered another 300g of cocaine, a press and moulds and £1,670 in cash, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Mike pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal cash.
Bear, of Hornchurch, admitted conspiracy to supply a Class A drug and possessing criminal property after more than £12,000 in cash was found in his family home.
Judge Richard Inyundo jailed Hassini for six years and nine months and sentenced Bear to five years and three months imprisonment.
He told them: “You are not the only two young men to find yourselves in difficulty due to the Covid pandemic.
“But many people in far more difficult positions than you did not make the decision to go into criminality and certainly did not make the decision to go into very serious criminality, which frankly both of you made the decision to do with your eyes wide open.”
The judge told Hassini he had played “an important role” in the “organisation which made the arrangements for the supply of large amounts” of drugs.
Joe Newman / SWNS.com)
He added that Hassini had put his girlfriend and her family “under suspicion of serious criminal offending”, which had led to her arrest before she was released with no further action taken.
In 2016, Hassini pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and drink-driving after crashing his Mercedes on his way home from a wrap party and was ordered to carry out unpaid work.
Baz Bhatia QC said: “At a fairly young age, he was picked up by a talent agency and for a number of years enjoyed some success in terms of a reality television show, The Only Way Is Essex.
“At the age of 20, he was catapulted into a world with which he was not familiar, with a world of celebrity parties where it is plain that cocaine was used on a regular basis.
“He was dropped from that show some three years into its production, a difficult time because there was no reason given as to why he was no longer a part of that particular production.”
He said Hassini recognised the “hurt and shame” he has brought on his family, including his girlfriend, mother and sister, who were in the public gallery.
“He will be remembered as someone who fell from grace at a very high level and will always be remembered as a drug dealer,” the QC added.
Michael Lavers, representing Bear, said he had begun taking cocaine recreationally in Ibiza, adding: “He saw others apparently flourishing and he accepts he was tempted by that lifestyle.”
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