A senior judge jailed 14 men for more than 44 years last week as he sent out a stark warning to Class A drug dealers who bring “human misery” to the streets of Bradford.
The defendants, aged from 18 to over 50, were all arrested in Operation Stalebank, which targeted street heroin and cocaine dealers in West Bowling.
The operation began after community concerns about the societal dilemmas of drug dealing and the Honorary Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, said imprisonment would work as a deterrent.
During a full day of cases last Saturday, the judge handed down jail sentences to 16 men and one woman, all charged after the same undercover police officer went onto the streets disguised as a drug addict to make contact with the dealers.
Among those sentenced were an 18-year-old with ten GCSEs, a man who came to England from Portugal with a promising employment background, and a man who recently became a father for the second time.
Judge Thomas described the “terrible blight” and “human misery” caused for society by widespread misuse of Class A drugs. He said: “Inevitably, therefore, anybody who chooses to involve themselves in the supply of Class A drugs commits a very serious criminal offence and faces the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence.”
Theo Maud, 24, who is an apprentice plumber of Parkway, West Bowling was jailed for four years. He got involved in dealing to pay off his own drug debt and supplied heroin to the undercover officer in a snicket near an infants’ school.
Judge Thomas was told that 19-year-old Connor Deans, of Raymond Street, West Bowling, had naively become involved in drug dealing despite gaining 10 GCSEs at school and undertaking a college scholarship.
He had allowed himself to be manipulated by others further up the hierarchy, his barrister said.
Deans was sentenced to detention in a young offender institution for three years and four months for the drugs offences, with two months added because he delivered drugs in a car while disqualified from driving.
His friend Tyrone Khan – the youngest defendant at just turned 18 – of Parkway, West Bowling, received three years and four months in a young offender institution.
Drug user Karen Coates, 52, of Shetcliffe Lane, Bierly, who had passed drugs to the undercover officer on one occasion, was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Dwaine Williams, 25, of Brookfield Road, Barkerend, who also admitted supplying drugs to the covert officer, was sentenced to three years and four months in jail.
The prison sentences prompted dismay in the public gallery. Judge Thomas said the “shock” of the defendants reflected lack of real understanding in the public at large about consequences of drugs supply.
All the defendants had pleaded guilty to offences of either supplying or being concerned in the supply of drugs.
One of the most active dealers was Qaiser Rehman, 23, of Grantham Road, Great Horton who was jailed for five years. His younger brother Faisal, 19, of Grantham Place, Great Horton, had his custodial sentence of 18 months suspended for two years, with 180 hours unpaid work.
Akheel Ali, 25, of Cecil Avenue, Great Horton, was imprisoned for two years, and Ansar Mahmood, 24, of Sherborne Road, Great Horton, was jailed for three years and six months.
Amjid Khan, 24, of Boynton Street, West Bowling, was locked up for 27 months and 18-year-old Rommel Morgan, of Ilbert Avenue, Bierley, was sent to a young offender institution for two years.
Bottom of the chain was drug user Nicholas McVay, 43, of Grafton Street who was received an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Zeshan Hussain, 26, of Batley who was a carer for his ill parents and who recently become a father for the second time, was jailed for four years. He was described by the judge as playing a “significant” and “persistent” role.
Jose Fernandez, 34, of New Cross Street, West Bowling, moved to England in 2010 from Portugal, where he left school with various qualifications, later working for P&O Ferries. His downward spiral began when he moved to England and he was jailed for three years, three months, with two burglaries taken into account and running concurrently alongside the drugs sentence.
Latvian Igors Kirilko, 31, of Manningham Lane, was jailed for 18 months. Cousins Noman Khan, 35, and Iyas Khan, 20, both played significant roles. Noman Khan, of Hobine Avenue, West Bowling, was jailed for four years. Iyas Khan, of Greaves Street, Bradford, was sent to a young offender institution for three years.
Bradford District Community Safety Chief Inspector, Dan Greenwood said the arrests were as a result of community intelligence and “specific requests from the community” of West Bowling to tackle drug dealing.
He said: “Those who think they can live a criminal lifestyle in our city and tarnish the national reputation of Bradford will quickly find themselves facing the full extent of the law.”