Drug charge student Alex Pearson faces jail - but will do his exams first

Alex Pearson

Alex Pearson

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Court Reporter

A STUDENT arrested for possessing thousands of pounds worth of drugs following the death of a trainee doctor has been warned he could go to prison.

But Alex Pearson will not be sentenced until June – to give him time to do his university exams.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing ecstasy and cannabis with intent to supply and possessing methoxetamine, which had a total value of about £2,000.

He was arrested by police when 19-year-old Doug Ferguson died after becoming ill at a house in Chandler’s Ford last summer.

Doug, a former student at Peter Symonds College in Winchester and Thornden School in Chandler’s Ford, was in his first year at Bristol university where he was studying medicine when he died.

Initial post mortem results to discover how he died proved inconclusive.

His family described him as a “fun-loving, popular young man who liked to live life to the full”.

Dozens of Doug’s friends gathered at Hiltingbury Recreation Ground in the aftermath of his death to light candles and release Chinese lanterns in his memory.

Flowers and messages were left at the skate park, a favourite haunt of the student, and notes were also written on the ramps.

Recorder Nigel Lickley QC said the circumstances in the case involving Pearson were “tragic”.

But Mark Ashley, defending, stressed the charges had no link with the death.

He urged the court to adjourn sentencing until after Pearson, who is in his final year at university, sat his exams in May.

Mr Ashley explained: “There is a good chance he will come out with a 2:1 and there is more chance of him keeping on the straight and narrow with that under his belt rather than having wasted two and a half years.”

The judge granted his application and told Pearson he would be sentenced on June 7, extending his bail with the warning that all options, including prison, were open.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is under way because officers were in contact with Doug, of Cranford Gardens, Chandler’s Ford, shortly before he died.

The IPCC last night confirmed that the enquiry is ongoing and the findings will be shared with Doug’s family when it is complete.

The Mid-Hampshire coroner, based at Winchester, said no date will be set for the inquest into Doug’s death until the results of the investigation are known.

Comments (23)

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6:24am Thu 24 Jan 13

nedscrumpo says...

Police investigating police is hardly independent. I.P.C.C is a contradiction in terms.
Police investigating police is hardly independent. I.P.C.C is a contradiction in terms. nedscrumpo
  • Score: 0

9:19am Thu 24 Jan 13

8089 says...

Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first?

Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!!

If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS!
Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first? Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!! If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS! 8089
  • Score: 0

9:51am Thu 24 Jan 13

davel_cats says...

This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth.
As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences.
This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth. As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences. davel_cats
  • Score: 0

10:07am Thu 24 Jan 13

elvisimo says...

davel_cats wrote:
This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth. As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences.
maybe but I tend to agree with getting the exams out of the way first. He will be punished but there seems little point in allowing the punshment rolling on and affecting the rest of their life
[quote][p][bold]davel_cats[/bold] wrote: This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth. As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences.[/p][/quote]maybe but I tend to agree with getting the exams out of the way first. He will be punished but there seems little point in allowing the punshment rolling on and affecting the rest of their life elvisimo
  • Score: 0

10:13am Thu 24 Jan 13

Here, There says...

I believe it is right that he complete his exams, as outlined he will be less likely to reoffend with qualifications that will allow gainful employment, afterall our system should always look to rehabilitate.
I believe it is right that he complete his exams, as outlined he will be less likely to reoffend with qualifications that will allow gainful employment, afterall our system should always look to rehabilitate. Here, There
  • Score: 0

11:14am Thu 24 Jan 13

bazzeroz says...

...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else?
...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else? bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

11:15am Thu 24 Jan 13

davel_cats says...

elvisimo wrote:
davel_cats wrote: This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth. As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences.
maybe but I tend to agree with getting the exams out of the way first. He will be punished but there seems little point in allowing the punshment rolling on and affecting the rest of their life
Yes, I agree with other comments that I can see why he would want to complete his exams. It is too bad there is no way of tying in his using the exam results to better himself to his jail sentence. That is, if he were to get his life back on track and get a job rather than be another scrounger, that could be used to affect the length of his sentence. But the system is complex enough already.
[quote][p][bold]elvisimo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]davel_cats[/bold] wrote: This may be premature pending any final conclusions as to the death of "Doug" who died, but describing someone in their first year of university studying towards a medical degree as a "trainee doctor" is rather stretching the truth. As for not being sentenced until he completes his exams, I can see why someone would want to complete their exams, but it does seem to be stretching the limits of justice: if he has been found guilty, then he needs to face the consequences.[/p][/quote]maybe but I tend to agree with getting the exams out of the way first. He will be punished but there seems little point in allowing the punshment rolling on and affecting the rest of their life[/p][/quote]Yes, I agree with other comments that I can see why he would want to complete his exams. It is too bad there is no way of tying in his using the exam results to better himself to his jail sentence. That is, if he were to get his life back on track and get a job rather than be another scrounger, that could be used to affect the length of his sentence. But the system is complex enough already. davel_cats
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Thu 24 Jan 13

cliffwalker says...

bazzeroz wrote:
...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else?
How often do we have to read postings by people who have not read and/or understood the news item?
[quote][p][bold]bazzeroz[/bold] wrote: ...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else?[/p][/quote]How often do we have to read postings by people who have not read and/or understood the news item? cliffwalker
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Thu 24 Jan 13

dly397 says...

bazzeroz wrote:
...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else?
There's nothing in the report to suggest that he's studying to be a doctor - that was the poor chap who died. You can't qualify as a doctor at the age of 20/21
[quote][p][bold]bazzeroz[/bold] wrote: ...........and, he'll be in a position to steal drugs should he become a doctor. Ridiculous! Will a criminal conviction not stop him being a doctor? or is there one rule for him and another for everyone else?[/p][/quote]There's nothing in the report to suggest that he's studying to be a doctor - that was the poor chap who died. You can't qualify as a doctor at the age of 20/21 dly397
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Thu 24 Jan 13

espanuel says...

Once again on here some people only want to read what they want too read and not the full story. If you cant be bothered to read the full item dont make stupid comments.
Once again on here some people only want to read what they want too read and not the full story. If you cant be bothered to read the full item dont make stupid comments. espanuel
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 24 Jan 13

espanuel says...

And I do agree that he should take his exams.
And I do agree that he should take his exams. espanuel
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Thu 24 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

I hardly imagine he held a gun to the dead guy's head and forced him to take anything - more like two mates on a bender that got out of hand. Maybe a fine for possession but definitely not prison for weed and ecstasy; heavy drinking does far more damage than either of these. This is too insignificant a crime for his life to be ruined by it, so let him finish his degree too.
I hardly imagine he held a gun to the dead guy's head and forced him to take anything - more like two mates on a bender that got out of hand. Maybe a fine for possession but definitely not prison for weed and ecstasy; heavy drinking does far more damage than either of these. This is too insignificant a crime for his life to be ruined by it, so let him finish his degree too. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Thu 24 Jan 13

aprilfool04 says...

During the London riots a student was jailed for four years for stealing a small bottle of water. When you come from a nice middle class family, where your dad is a pharmacist, your mother is a nurse & you can afford the best QC YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Alex has been a drug dealer for 3 years plus & he gets to finish his Engineering degree. He knew the dangers of selling drugs, he will serve no prison time for causing a death as a drug dealer. Call this justice.
During the London riots a student was jailed for four years for stealing a small bottle of water. When you come from a nice middle class family, where your dad is a pharmacist, your mother is a nurse & you can afford the best QC YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Alex has been a drug dealer for 3 years plus & he gets to finish his Engineering degree. He knew the dangers of selling drugs, he will serve no prison time for causing a death as a drug dealer. Call this justice. aprilfool04
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Thu 24 Jan 13

pperson says...

yeah he shouldn't have been dealing drugs, but why should he have to throw away his education because of it?
i think it's positive that he's allowed to take his exams - this way he might stand a chance of being rehabilitated when he's released!!
also, he isn't to be blamed for Doug's death - Doug wasn't forced to take the drugs, it was his choice. it wasn't like he overdosed, he had a bad reaction which no one could have predicted. it was just a terrible accident. Alex should have to learn the hard way that you can't sell drugs and get away with it, but the drugs charges alone will affect him for the rest of his life, without destroying his education too.
yeah he shouldn't have been dealing drugs, but why should he have to throw away his education because of it? i think it's positive that he's allowed to take his exams - this way he might stand a chance of being rehabilitated when he's released!! also, he isn't to be blamed for Doug's death - Doug wasn't forced to take the drugs, it was his choice. it wasn't like he overdosed, he had a bad reaction which no one could have predicted. it was just a terrible accident. Alex should have to learn the hard way that you can't sell drugs and get away with it, but the drugs charges alone will affect him for the rest of his life, without destroying his education too. pperson
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Thu 24 Jan 13

anderson212 says...

People take drugs of their own free will. Good luck in your exam Alex and try leading a drugs free life on your release if you ever go to prison. Stop supporting dealers by buying their drugs
People take drugs of their own free will. Good luck in your exam Alex and try leading a drugs free life on your release if you ever go to prison. Stop supporting dealers by buying their drugs anderson212
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Thu 24 Jan 13

RadicalEmu says...

8089 wrote:
Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first?

Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!!

If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS!
PRISON is his punishment. Full stop.
.
Loss of freedom is his punishment.
.
Being away from loved ones is his punishment.
.
Living in a confined space full of strangers is his punishment.
.
Prison is his punishment. Why is that so hard to understand?
[quote][p][bold]8089[/bold] wrote: Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first? Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!! If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS![/p][/quote]PRISON is his punishment. Full stop. . Loss of freedom is his punishment. . Being away from loved ones is his punishment. . Living in a confined space full of strangers is his punishment. . Prison is his punishment. Why is that so hard to understand? RadicalEmu
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Thu 24 Jan 13

elvisimo says...

RadicalEmu wrote:
8089 wrote:
Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first?

Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!!

If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS!
PRISON is his punishment. Full stop.
.
Loss of freedom is his punishment.
.
Being away from loved ones is his punishment.
.
Living in a confined space full of strangers is his punishment.
.
Prison is his punishment. Why is that so hard to understand?
It isn't but you get a lot of people on here who don't ready stories or take into account the facts. They just spout their narrow views
[quote][p][bold]RadicalEmu[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]8089[/bold] wrote: Why the hell should he be given the chance to do his exams first? Sacrificing his exams to go to prison should be part of his punishment!! If I ever go to prison (I won't) I hope I get the chance to do a few things I need to get done first!!! RIDICULOUS![/p][/quote]PRISON is his punishment. Full stop. . Loss of freedom is his punishment. . Being away from loved ones is his punishment. . Living in a confined space full of strangers is his punishment. . Prison is his punishment. Why is that so hard to understand?[/p][/quote]It isn't but you get a lot of people on here who don't ready stories or take into account the facts. They just spout their narrow views elvisimo
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Thu 24 Jan 13

8089 says...

....And sacrificing doing his exams should be a part of that punishment!

Why is it so hard to understand?
....And sacrificing doing his exams should be a part of that punishment! Why is it so hard to understand? 8089
  • Score: 0

8:42am Fri 25 Jan 13

Pikey-Biker says...

This guy is going to have hard time as it is getting a job after he has been to prison as it is; you are determined to stop this chance of rehabilitating himself once he comes out.

As a Taxpayer I don’t really want to support this guy on benefits for the rest of his working life so anything he can do to help himself I am all for it
At the end of the day he is going to Prison to serve his time
This guy is going to have hard time as it is getting a job after he has been to prison as it is; you are determined to stop this chance of rehabilitating himself once he comes out. As a Taxpayer I don’t really want to support this guy on benefits for the rest of his working life so anything he can do to help himself I am all for it At the end of the day he is going to Prison to serve his time Pikey-Biker
  • Score: 0

9:56am Fri 25 Jan 13

pperson says...

8089 wrote:
....And sacrificing doing his exams should be a part of that punishment!

Why is it so hard to understand?
8089 is obviously just showing his ignorance about the importance of rehabilitation. prison, and having it on his record for the rest of his life is enough punishment.
[quote][p][bold]8089[/bold] wrote: ....And sacrificing doing his exams should be a part of that punishment! Why is it so hard to understand?[/p][/quote]8089 is obviously just showing his ignorance about the importance of rehabilitation. prison, and having it on his record for the rest of his life is enough punishment. pperson
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Solomon's Boot says...

What do you mean 'his'? Now you're showing your ignorance pperson!!

Rehabilitation comes after a sentence, not before..He should do his exams in prison!!

He chose to break the law. I have no sympathy, NOT 'ignorance'!
What do you mean 'his'? Now you're showing your ignorance pperson!! Rehabilitation comes after a sentence, not before..He should do his exams in prison!! He chose to break the law. I have no sympathy, NOT 'ignorance'! Solomon's Boot
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Fri 25 Jan 13

pperson says...

Solomon's Boot wrote:
What do you mean 'his'? Now you're showing your ignorance pperson!!

Rehabilitation comes after a sentence, not before..He should do his exams in prison!!

He chose to break the law. I have no sympathy, NOT 'ignorance'!
Sorry I suppose that was quite ignorant presuming 8089 was a male, I just didn't think a woman would be so heartless. He will have a better chance of rehabilitation with a degree under his belt.

I wish him nothing but luck in his exams.

Forgiveness is key.
[quote][p][bold]Solomon's Boot[/bold] wrote: What do you mean 'his'? Now you're showing your ignorance pperson!! Rehabilitation comes after a sentence, not before..He should do his exams in prison!! He chose to break the law. I have no sympathy, NOT 'ignorance'![/p][/quote]Sorry I suppose that was quite ignorant presuming 8089 was a male, I just didn't think a woman would be so heartless. He will have a better chance of rehabilitation with a degree under his belt. I wish him nothing but luck in his exams. Forgiveness is key. pperson
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Fri 25 Jan 13

abfab91 says...

Having been to school with this kid and suffered years of bullying from him and his mates, I can't help but smile knowing he'll spend most of his life in and out of prison. Waste of space.
Having been to school with this kid and suffered years of bullying from him and his mates, I can't help but smile knowing he'll spend most of his life in and out of prison. Waste of space. abfab91
  • Score: 0

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