Jail for woman who let gang use her home as drug-dealing base
A woman who allowed a drugs gang to use her home as a base for dealing drugs on the streets of Weston-super-Mare has been jailed.
Melissa Cutler was pushed into using her premises in Wadham Street to store and package heroin but did not deal herself, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a class A drug.
Jailing her for two years and four months, Judge Julian Lambert told the court Cutler helped with the operation but played a lesser role.
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He said: “All the defendants were deeply involved in the drugs sub-culture. It is a wicked, corrosive trade and a blight on society.”
Earlier, two Liverpool men and another Weston-super-Mare woman were jailed for more than 12 years for their respective roles in the group.
David McVeigh, 34, co-ordinated the supply of heroin to Weston while 29-year-old fellow Liverpudlian Daniel O’Brien was responsible for holding the drugs and cash on McVeigh’s behalf. O’Brien also dealt the drug within the town.
They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and McVeigh was sentenced to six years while O’Brien was sentenced to four years and nine months.
Melanie Tomkinson, 37, from Baildon Road, Weston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply after she allowed the two Liverpudlians to use their homes as bases to deal from.
Both she and Cutler were dealt the drug in return for payment in the form of heroin and Tomkinson was sentenced to two years.
The court heard O’Brien and the two Weston women all paid the cash proceeds of the drugs they sold directly into the bank account of McVeigh.
The organised crime group was the second to be jailed in as many months.
In December three men from Liverpool and one man from Weston were jailed for a total of 17 years for the same offences.
The ringleader of that group, Thomas Dean, has since been given a restraining order, which bans him from Weston for 20 years.
Detective Sergeant Saj Rizvi, who leads North Somerset’s Targeting Team, said: “This is a very similar case to the group jailed last December – both were run by Liverpudlians who targeted people in Weston to sell their heroin. In both cases, we were on to them very quickly.
“We know when the wrong people arrive here and are determined Weston won’t be an easy target for them.
“Hopefully, that sends out a very strong message not only to people in Weston that we pull out all the stops to lock these people up, but also to the drug dealers themselves not to risk coming here.”