Ex-marine smuggled £2k of drugs into Creamfields – hours before he was due to perform

Liam McCormick (left), Philip Ormond (right) <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Liam McCormick (left), Philip Ormond (right) (Image: Newsquest)

AN ex-marine whose life ‘spiralled out of control’ was caught with his friend trying to smuggle thousands of pounds worth of class A drugs into Creamfields festival, where he was later expected to perform at.

The court heard how the pair were found to have more than 200 ecstasy pills when they were stopped by police upon entering the site in Warrington, with the aim being to sell them to festival goers.

Liam McCormick and Philip Ormond appeared before Chester Crown Court last Friday, 28, on charges of possession of class A drugs and conspiracy to supply.

Prosecuting, Ryan Rothwell said the incident occurred on August 29, 2021.

He said how at 3pm Ormond, 41, drove onto the site with McCormick, 34, in the passenger seat.

McCormick, who has previously served as a royal marine, was said to have been scheduled to perform at the festival later that day and so the pair were able to drive through one of the main entrances with a special pass.

But before they passed through the threshold the vehicle was stopped and police carried out a full search.

A total of 254 pills were found with the potential value of £2540, along with two mobile phones and a combined amount of £160 in cash.

Police conducted a further search of McCormick’s home where they discovered three psychedelic drug tablets named 2CB worth more than £150.

Messages on the defendants’ phones recovered by Police provided proof of their intention to supply the drugs.

The court heard how before entering guilty pleas both McCormick and Ormand denied their involvement during interviews with the Police, with both presenting different stories with ‘distinct’ details of how the drugs had ended up in the car.

DNA tests were forced to be carried out due to the pair refusing to state the honest truth about the incident and their intentions which caused delays in the case being heard and the defendants being held to justice.

Warrington Guardian: Creamfields is ready for us
Warrington Guardian: Creamfields is ready for us

Defending Ormand, Paul Wood said the offender had a history of mental health issues.

He detailed how at the time of the offence it had been a particularly bad time in his life but that he is now clean of drugs and alcohol.

Mr wood added that Ormand had not served a custodial sentence since 2008 and has had no previous history of drug supply.

Defending McCormick, Ian Whitehurst stated that his client insisted the drugs were meant for a separate festival they were going to in Leicester that day.

“This defendant has had an addiction to drugs since his time in the marines,” he said.

“The arrest saved him. He was going into a very dark place if he had not been caught,” he added.

Mr Whitehurst told the court how the drug addiction began before 2015 when McCormick was a member of the royal marines.

After getting injured during service his life ‘spiralled out of control’ and he began taking drugs, eventually leading to him being discharged.

It was also noted that McCormick is religious, and it was said the church ‘holds structure and support to his life’.

“He was supposed to be baptised on the very day he went out to sell some drugs,” Judge Simon Berkson added during the defending speech.

Mr Whitehurst continued to explain how the defendant is the sole carer to his daughter and has turned his life around since the incident in 2021, even building his own ‘successful’ and ‘thriving’ business.

“I ask the court to give this defendant one and only one chance.”

Concluding, Judge Berkson said in reference to the number of tablets found in possession of the offenders, that ‘anywhere over 80 tablets is considered a lot’ to the court.

Addressing the defendants, he said: “You are both festival goers.

“You knew you cannot take drugs and were aware of this at the time.”

Ormand, of Sutton Way, Great Sutton was handed a three-year custodial sentence.

While McCormick, of Milton Road, Birkenhead was given a sentence of 32-months.

Both will serve half before being released on licence.

The drugs seized during the incident were destroyed.

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