1. ITV Report

'Cuckoo' drug gang intimidated Clacton addicts to deal from their homes

. Credit: Press Association Images.

A gang who took over the houses of addicts across Clacton to deal drugs have been convicted - following a three-year investigation.

The group, know as the Jay Boys, came from London but operated from properties in Essex, making between £2,000 and £3,000 a day.

During a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, the jury was told how the gang of eight men targeted the homes of vulnerable addicts.

They used violence and intimidation to take them over and use them as a drug-dealing base in a practice known as "cuckooing".

It took Essex Police three years to collect enough evidence to take them to court - with the first search warrant being carried out in February 2016.

“The London gang preyed on those reliant on drugs, they used violence to take over their homes as a base to flood the streets of Clacton with heroin and crack. “They also preyed on the vulnerability of addicts to make money from their drug dependency. “But what they didn’t bank on was the fact that we were always on their tail, watching their every move and compiling the evidence which has led the jury to reach these verdicts.”

– Essex Police.

Seven men were convicted with two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. They were:

  • Courtney Kirby-Diamond, 25, of Wellington Way, East London
  • Tunji Owati, 26, of Park View Road, North London
  • Troy Henderson-Ryan, 19, of Alfearn Road, East London
  • Steven Root, 45, of Hadleigh Road, Clacton
  • Tommy Burnett, 21 of Trinity Close, East London

An eighth man, Shaheur Rahman, 25, of Bentham Road, East London, admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.

During the trial, a former member of the Jay Boys gang gave evidence against them. He told the court how he was recruited on Facebook by the gang and was paid a daily rate of £100 to deliver crack and heroin.

All eight men have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.