13 SENTENCED FOR
MULTI-MILLION POUND DRUGS CONSPIRACY
12 men and a woman have been sentenced to a
total of 152 years for a multi-million pound drugs conspiracy at
Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, 8 August 2012. The sentencing
follows an 8 month operation by officers from Titan (North West
Regional Organised Crime Unit) into the supply of Class 'A'
drugs from Merseyside to Scotland, South Wales, Lancashire and
Cheshire. In total, officers from Titan seized 9.25 kg of heroin,
8.25 kg of cocaine, 12 kg of amphetamine, 11,370 class 'C'
tablets (benzylpiperazine) with a collective wholesale value of
£1million as well as £37,000 cash. The following were jailed
for conspiracy to supply Class 'A' drugs:-
► John Cooke, aged 32, of Walmer
Road, Birkdale - 17 years
► James Swarez, aged 44, of Queens Road,
Crosby - 17 years
► John Wildman, aged 40, of Alans Way,
Kirkby - 9 years and 4 months
Paul McDonald, aged 44, of Fernbank Road, Huyton - 15 years
► Brian Harrison, aged 50, of Harefield
Green, Speke - 6 years and 8 months
► David Law, aged 53, of Sheldon Road,
West Derby - 10 years and 8 months
► Jonathon Earley, aged 46, of Crompton
Street, Kirkdale - 6 years
► David Jolly, aged 44, of Enfield Close,
Chorley - 12 years
► James Beck, aged 47, of Ward Street,
Lostock Hall, Preston - 13 years
► Jonathon Cromwell, aged 36, of Stanway
Place, Ely, Cardiff - 12 years
► Edward McCreadie, aged 54, of Menteith
Drive, Rutherglen, Glasgow - 12 years and 8 months
► Roseanne McCreadie, aged 32, of Dukes
Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow - 9 years
► Gordon Smith, aged 49, of Menzies Drive,
Glasgow - 12 years
The methods used to distribute the drugs showed a degree of
sophistication. The usual routine for the distribution tended to be
Cooke and Swarez would receive high purity drugs from suppliers, one
of which was Paul McDonald and this would then be trafficked to
Glasgow, Cardiff, Preston and Ellesmere Port via the couriers of the
Forensic examination of the recovered drugs indicates that mixing of
the drugs took place prior to distribution and while under the
control of the OCG. Following the deliveries of drugs, cash would be
collected and subsequently delivered to Cooke, Swarez or McDonald,
who along with Harrison were at the top of the hierarchy.
On Friday, 2 December 2011, Cooke, Swarez, Wildman, McDonald and
Harrison were arrested in a coordinated planned operation. Searches
took place at their homes during which a number of mobile phones
were recovered. The searches of the houses belonging to Cooke and
McDonald showed obvious signs of significant wealth with both living
an affluent lifestyle. The 5 were all charged the following day with
conspiracy to supply cocaine and diamorphine.
Law was arrested, on 1 September 2011, in Crosby. The boot of his
Volvo car was searched and 3 kgs of cocaine recovered. He pleaded
guilty to possession with intent to supply at Liverpool Crown Court
on September 20, 2011 and for that offence was sentenced to 6 years
and 6 months in jail. He later also admitted conspiracy to supply
Class 'A' drugs.
Jolly was arrested, on 21 September 2011, by uniformed Merseyside
Police officers on the M62 towards Liverpool just before junction
seven at Rainhill. His Mercedez van was searched by officers and two
kgs of heroin, 11,370 tablets containing various class 'C'
controlled drugs and £2500 cash were recovered. A baseball bat
was also found inside the van. Jolly was arrested for possession of
controlled drugs with intent to supply, money laundering and
possession of an offensive weapon. He was charged on 8 December
2011, with the drugs conspiracy.
On 6 December 2011, a warrant was executed at Beck's house on Ward
Street, Preston. He was not at home at the time and a few hours
later handed himself in to police in Lancashire. He denied any
involvement with drugs supply and offered innocent explanations for
all the observations at his home address and elsewhere with the
other conspirators. He was charged with the drugs conspiracy, on 7
On 7 December 2011, search warrants were also executed at the homes
of Roseanne McCreadie and Edward McCreadie who were both arrested.
Mobile phones were recovered at their houses and a piece of paper
listing amounts of money allegedly owed by drug dealers was found in
a vehicle at Menteith Drive. The McCreadies, Jolly and Law were all
subsequently charged with conspiracy to supply Class 'A'
drugs on 8 December 2011.
Cromwell and Earley were both arrested at HMP Cardiff, on 12
December 2011, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply controlled
drugs. They were both were charged with conspiracy to supply Class A
drugs that same day.
On 20 December 2011, Gordon Smith was arrested at Copy Lane Police
Station and was charged, on 12 January 2012, with
conspiracy to supply Class 'A' drugs.
Cooke, Swarez, Wildman, McDonald, Harrison, Jolly, Law, Edward
McCreadie, Cromwell and Earley all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
supply controlled drugs, on Monday, 12 March 2012. Beck, Roseanne
McCreadie and Smith all pleaded not guilty and were found guilty of
conspiracy to supply controlled drugs at a subsequent trial.
Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson from Titan said:- "This
sentences reflect the severity of the scourge of drugs on our
streets. We launched a lengthy investigation into this organised
crime unit and obtained evidence that ensured some major players in
the drugs trade have been taken out of action for a considerable
amount of time. While some of the gang were used as couriers, others
such as Cooke, Swarez, McDonald and Harrison were at the top of the
hierarchy of this group and their lifestyles show they have made
huge amounts of money through their criminal activities. The methods
used to distribute the drugs show a level of sophistication. They
are now facing a considerable amount of time behind bars and will be
stripped of all their ill-gotten gains sending a strong message to
anyone involved in organised crime, or thinking of getting involved,
that no-one is untouchable and you will be found and brought to
justice. Titan will continue to target all those involved in
organised crime and take robust action against them to protect our
communities across the North West."
For more information about the work of Titan visit:-
TRIBUTE FROM THE
FAMILY OF SOUTHPORT WOMAN KILLED IN A FATAL RTC
THE family of 34 year old Julia Smith, who
died following an RTC on Town Lane, Southport on Saturday, 21 July
2012, have paid tribute to her. A family statement read:-
"Julia was very bubbly and had a wonderful personality. She was
always very thoughtful, kind and helpful. She loved to cook and was
always cooking for others. She had a very positive outlook on life
and that reflected on the way she brought up her 3 sons; 9 year old
Harry, 6 year old Jacob and 2 year old Rhauri. In Harry and Jacob's
recent school reports they were both described as kind, thoughtful
and helpful to others. They understand that their mummy is no longer
with us and we are very proud of the way they are handling her loss.
We are all absolutely devastated by the loss of Julia. She was such
a positive influence on us all and had a wonderful sense of humour.
She has left a big hole in the lives of all that knew and loved her
and not a day will go past that she won't be missed." Julia,
whose maiden name was Woods-Medland, attended Christ the King School
in Southport before going on to graduate in Media Studies at Lincoln
University and most recently working in a call centre. She leaves
behind 3 sons Harry, Jacob and Rhauri, her mum Kate, her dad Phil
and her brother Greg.
WITNESS APPEAL - THEFT OF BMX BIKE
A 15 year old youth from
Southport has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after a BMX
bike was stolen from a shed in Southport. Officers from Merseyside
Police are now appealing for more information in connection with
this incident, which happened on Hart Street at around 5.30am on
Wednesday, 1 August 2012, when suspected offenders are said to have
forced entry to the shed and stole a gold and chrome colour BMX
bike. Officers are keen to trace a 2nd male, also believed to be a
teenager, who fled the scene on the bike. PC Jack Hearnden said:-
"We are appealing to anyone with any information in connection with
this incident to call us. In particular, we are keen to hear from
anyone who recognises the BMX from the photo and has seen anybody
riding it or trying to sell it. I would like to take this
opportunity to remind members of the public that it is an offence to
buy stolen goods." Anyone with any information is asked to
call Merseyside Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:-
0800 555 111.
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Preston Guild
First Proclamation is here!
"ALL manner of persons here present, whether
inhabitants within this Borough or Foreigners" are the first
words that will be uttered to start the traditional and historic
Preston Guild for 2012.
The Guild Mayor, in full ceremonial robes, along with the Mayoress,
the Clerk of the Guild and other civic dignitaries will take their
places on the steps of the Harris Museum for the First Proclamation
on Saturday 18 August at precisely 10.30am.
Lorraine Norris, Preston City Council chief executive and Clerk of
the Guild for 2012 will then proceed to read the first proclamation
to the assembled crowd.
This traditional ceremony will link the Guild in 2012 with medieval
Preston, when important announcements were made in public as there
was no television, radio, internet or even newspapers! The
proclamation states that the Guild is coming and summons all those
wanting to attend.
Preston Guild is an historic celebration, which dates back to 1179.
It is the only Guild still celebrated in the UK and, as such, is
truly unique. Held only once every 20 years, the 2012 celebration
will be the first Guild in the 21st century and the first since the
granting of Preston's city status in 2002.
Another first at this proclamation will be the new Guild anthem for
2012, written by Lancashire poet Lemn Sissay and Artistic Director
Pete Moser and sung by members of the choir from the Sing the Docks
project. With the dramatic Heliosphere aerial show, street
performers and Morris dancing across the city before and after the
Proclamation, this is an event not to be missed.
Guild Mayor, Councillor Carl Crompton, said:- "The first
proclamation heralds the start of this year's Guild celebrations and
all that Prestonians have been looking forward to for the last 20
years. Mixing the traditional words and ceremony with the new Guild
anthem and street performances brings the focus back to the 21st
century. I am really excited and honoured to be Guild Mayor and part
of this wonderful and unique occasion."
The Southport Air Show is back in
September for its 21st birthday!!!
THE amazing Southport Air Show will be flying
high as it celebrates it's 21st Birthday! The events gates will open
from 9am and we encourage you to arrive early to avoid the traffic
to this years show. It is now one of the premier air shows in the UK
and is renowned for its excellent displays both on the ground and in
the air. But do not forget when you visit the Town, if you are not
local that is, make the most of your day out exploring Southport and
the rest of Merseyside coastline! For booking information and lots
of facts about this years event go to:-
More information in next weeks issue.