Cumbria 'county lines' drug plot group jailed

Carlisle Crown Court
Image caption A judge at Carlisle Crown Court said the conspiracy caused "devastation and despair"

Fifteen people involved in a "county lines" drugs operation targeting addicts in Cumbria have been jailed.

The key organiser and players were from the Liverpool area, and were assisted by a number of Cumbrian residents.

Carlisle Crown Court heard addicts were bombarded with "text bombs" offering heroin and crack cocaine for sale.

Judge Peter Davies said the conspiracy had caused "devastation, despair and a huge financial and social cost this county cannot afford".

The residents played various roles including directly supplying drugs on behalf of the gang, or storing them and allowing their addresses, some occupied by children, to be used as drug-dealing safe houses.

Some helped in other ways, such as handing over crucial contacts lists for addicts or buying mobile phone top-ups.

'Community exploitation'

Thirteen people previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, while three others were found guilty following a trial.

The trial was also told it also involved a process known as "cuckooing" - when people from outside the county came into Carlisle and set up temporary "nests" from which to establish a drug-dealing network.

Judge Davies said the impact of the conspiracy "had been far-reaching" and involved "community exploitation".

Those jailed are:

  • Roy Hickman, 35, of Churchdown Road, Liverpool -14 years, five months
  • Thomas Wright, 25, of Harefield Road, Liverpool - 10-and-a-half years
  • Christopher Westwell, 25, of Round Hey, Knowsley - nine years, nine months
  • Dylan Yates, 25, of Boode Croft, Liverpool - 12-and-a-half years
  • James Bailey, 20, of Birkrig, Skelmersdale - nine years
  • Michael Mandale, 51, of Greystoke, near Penrith - three years, nine months
  • Daniel Brennan, 32, previously of Woodside North, Carlisle - four-and-a-half years
  • Christopher Cooke, 39, of no fixed address - five years, seven months
  • Connor White, 23, of Eldon Drive, Carlisle - three years
  • Joseph Graham, 40, of Borrowdale Gardens - Carlisle - three years
  • Peter Bryson, 31, of Castlerigg Drive, Carlisle - three years
  • Heather Wills, 36, of Castlerigg Drive, Carlisle - two years, four months.
  • Storme Abrahams, 32, of Mill Street, Longtown - two years
  • Bradley Hickman, 35, of Ellesmere Way, Carlisle - two years
  • Leon Kenyon, 48, of Osborne Avenue, Carlisle - one year, eight month

Sharnee Dawkins, 29, previously of Crummock Street, Carlisle, will be sentenced later this year.

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