FORMER Northwich Victoria Football Club owner Jim Rushe has been jailed for six years.

Rushe, 55, of Runcorn Road in Moore, was found guilty of conspiring to supply class A drugs, namely cocaine, at Liverpool Crown Court on April 14.

Mark Fishwick, 46, of Greencroft in Preston, was also found guilty of conspiring to supply class A drugs on the same date.

The sentencing for both defendants has been adjourned several times over the past three months. Both men were bailed during this time.

Rushe and Fishwick were sentenced to six years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court this morning.

Delivering his sentence, Judge Simon Medland, said: “Both of you are falling from a great height but you are both authors of your own misfortune.

“I pass evidence that you were both involved in the selling of cocaine and not any other drugs.

“You were both senior players in this operation. The drugs themselves in this case were a very high purity and a very high weight, at 83 per cent pure.

“I see you both as men of good character.

“You both struck me as being intelligent, middle-aged business men. Your involvement was commercial and you both saw this, bluntly as a business opportunity.”

Judge Medland added that both men were previously of ‘good character’ and noted that part of Rushe’s defence was that ‘he was an enduring force of good for many years in the world of football’.

Defending Rushe, Peter Wright called the conviction ‘the most monumental fall from grace’.

“His life and those of his family have been shattered,” he said. “He goes to prison with a very heavy heart.

“He also feels that those who have held him in high regard and as a role model for many years will feel cheated by him.

“This is the most monumental fall from grace.”

Judge Medland said Rushe and Fishwick will serve half of their six-year sentence in prison and half on licence.