Paul Flowers: Former Co-op Bank chairman pleads guilty to drug possession

He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £125 costs
  • @bobjwilliams

Disgraced former Co-op bank boss Paul Flowers has pleaded guilty to possessing drugs including cocaine and crystal meth.

The minister, dubbed the Crystal Methodist, appeared before magistrates in Leeds where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of class A drugs - cocaine and methamphetamine - and one count of possession of class C drug ketamine.

He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £125 costs.

The suspended minister stepped down from the Co-op six months earlier over concerns about expenses. He had apologised for "stupid and wrong" behaviour, and said he had been under pressure because of a recent death in the family and problems at the bank.

The Co-op confirmed last year that it was seeking to recover contractual payments totalling £31,000 made to Flowers amid reports that he was also the subject of an inquiry into "lavish" expense claims.

Mr Flowers, who had previously served as a Labour councillor in Bradford, arrived at court before the doors had been unlocked, leaving him to stand on the street for five minutes surrounded by photographers and TV cameras.

He said: "Don't ask me any questions because I won't give any answers."

He repeated his description of the mass of reporters and photographers as "vultures" as he stood and endured a barrage of flash photography, eventually saying: "Do you have enough now?"

Court staff opened the doors at 9am and let the pinstripe-suited clergyman into the building.