Drug dealing Liverpool family jailed

A family of drug dealers who controlled the main drugs supply in north Liverpool have been jailed.

The gang, headed by 32-year-old Paul Whitney, saw teams of two working shifts to deal in the Anfield, West Derby and Tuebrook areas of the city.

Police spent 18 months watching the family and caught one man throwing drugs from a moving car and a woman smuggling drugs in a baby's nappy bag.

Thirteen people have been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

Paul Whitney, of Eremon Close, Aintree, admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was jailed for nine years, four months.

His father, Leslie Whitney, 56, and his girlfriend Emma McKenzie, 29, both of Watford Road, Anfield, admitted the same charge.

Nappy bag

Leslie Whitney was jailed for seven and a half years.

McKenzie was sentenced on Monday and ordered to serve two years and three months in prison.

The court heard how she tried to hide wraps of cocaine in her child's nappy bag as she passed her to her mother, Mary McCabe, as police searched her house.

McCabe, of Cherry Lane, Walton, was followed by detectives, who later searched her car and found a stolen SA80 assault rifle which had been taken from an army base in 2005, and 1,200 rounds of ammunition in the boot.

She also admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was jailed for eight years.

Image caption The Whitney family controlled the supply of hard drugs in north Liverpool

Five others admitted the same charge - Paul's sister Lisa Whitney, 30, of Hilary Road, Anfield, who was jailed for four years, and Matthew Mayor, 37, of Springfield Park, Haydock, who was jailed for eight years, four months.

Mayor threw 2kg of heroin, with an estimated street value of up to £120,000, from the window of his Mercedes while police followed him along Queens Drive in Allerton.

Michael O'Toole, 32, of Baddow Croft, Woolton, was jailed for eight years, Gary Edwards, 37, of Eremon Close, Aintree, was jailed for four years, and Wayne Hincks, 28, of Hilary Road, was jailed for six years, eight months.

Gang members Neil Brady, 34, of Lauriston Road, Walton, Michael Waters, 25, of Grasmere Street and Thomas Dowd, 44, of City Road, Walton, received sentences of six years and nine months, five years and four months, and five years and two months respectively.

'Gang's banker'

Carole Whitney, 54, Leslie Whitney's estranged wife, of Hildebrand Road, Anfield, denied the same charge but was convicted after a trial.

Known as the "banker" of the operation, she was also convicted of possessing nearly 50,000 ecstasy-type tablets, containing the class C drug TFMPP.

Her home was used as the operation's safe house, where dealers picked up drugs and returned with cash.

Police said her bank accounts handled nearly £120,000 over six years, despite her being unemployed and claiming disability benefit.

She received an eight-year sentence.

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