A GYM owner illegally sold steroids to his customers for two years.

Christopher Jones, owner of Titans Gym, in Rayleigh, supplied the drugs to his customers along with Gary Hope, with the duo operating from May 2016 to November 2018.

Jones, 44, has previously competed in national bodybuilding competitions.

Steroids are a Class C drug and under UK law can only be legally bought from a pharmacist with a prescription.

Jones and Hope, 50, appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday charged with 13 counts of being concerned in the supply of Class C drugs.

The duo, of Knights Way, Brentwood, and London Road, Benfleet, admitted all offences.

The court was told police raided Titans Gym, along with the defendants’ addresses, where quantities of steroids were found.

More quantities of the drug were later found at a storage unit at which Jones had been keeping the supplies before they were sold on.

Mike Warren, mitigating for Jones, told the court he suffers from medical conditions and he never made profit from selling the steroids.

He said: “The only money that was realised was going to these demanding sellers.”

Addressing both men, Judge Samantha Leigh said: “This was an operation between the two of you. Without one, you couldn’t do it.

“Taking everything into consideration, the sentence will be 14 months in custody suspended for 24 months on each count to run concurrently.

“You will carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

“You will also be subject to a curfew to deliberately ensure there is immediate punishment, from 7pm to 5am.

“If you do not complete the unpaid work or if you breach the curfew you will be back before this court and the sentence will be activated.”