Norwich drug dealing gang jailed

Mary HamiltonFour people have admitted their part in a supply chain bringing heroin and crack cocaine from London to sell on the streets of Norwich, a court heard yesterday.Mary Hamilton

Four people have admitted their part in a supply chain bringing heroin and crack cocaine from London to sell on the streets of Norwich, a court heard yesterday.

Earl Charlton, Rebecca Tees, Caroline Beavis and Martin Duce pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs after a shipment of heroin and crack was intercepted at Norwich train station.

Prosecuting, John Farmer said Tees, 41, was arrested coming off a train from London on January 6 with a bag which was found to contain drugs with a street value of around �14,000.

After the others realised she had not turned up to meet them, Beavis, 26, went to the police station to report Tees missing in an attempt to find out where she was, Mr Farmer said.

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Beavis was arrested along with the two men, and 31-year-old Charlton was found to have �5,000 in cash on him, which he admitted was the proceeds of an earlier delivery to be taken back to London, Mr Farmer added.

Mitigating for Charlton, Michael Clare said he had gone into debt to a drug dealer and was therefore vulnerable to being drawn into the supply of drugs.

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'He is a street beggar who is intermittently homeless,' he said. 'It is difficult to see how this person could be considered as anything more than a low level seller of heroin.'

Mitigating for Beavis, John Morgan pointed out she was the youngest of the offenders and had only one previous conviction for shoplifting.

'Going to the police station and giving a full admission is proof of her as a na�ve addict who was out of her depth,' he said. 'It is no exaggeration at all to say that heroin has ruined her life.

'She has lost her son, she has lost her way and it is to her great credit that she has taken the arrest and charge as a wake up call and taken positive steps to change her life.'

Mitigating for Duce, 38, Guy Ayers said he had been in segregation while in prison due to other inmates believing he had given the police too much information.

'He has had a much worse experience in prison than is normal, through no fault of his own,' he said.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Downes said: 'To suggest that any of you were 'Mr Big' is nonsense, but you were all cogs, and quite important cogs, in a machine. You were the means by which drugs were supplied.'

Beavis, of Hartleys Close, Norwich, was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, while Duce, of the same address, was imprisoned for 12 months.

Charlton, of Pleydell Estate, London, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Tees, who lives at the same address, will be sentenced at a later date.

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