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Carlisle drug dealers jailed

Adam Oakley and Craig Corner Credit: Cumbria Police

Two men have been jailed for dealing drugs in Carlisle with a street value of £250,000.

Adam Oakley, 30, of Raven Street, Carlisle, was sentenced to ten years and Craig Corner, 41, of Quinton Gardens in the city, caged for four years for possession with intent to supply and conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

The duo were sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court today.

Their sentences are part of Operation Cornflake, which saw police recover cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis with a street value of quarter of a million pounds.

Oakley and Corner both pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court in July 2015.

“This was a small, yet organised, consortium whose sole intention was to sell significant amounts of cocaine and other drugs in Carlisle.

“One of Cumbria Constabulary’s priorities is to target those who pose the greatest risk to our communities and we will continue to take them off the streets and bring them to justice.

“Craig Corner’s role was to travel to Liverpool and convey the drugs back to Carlisle, his sentence should act as a deterrent to others who may be asked to undertake such a journey.

“Adam Oakley’s role was far more serious, he was caught red-handed mixing cocaine with adulterants to substantially increase its value.

“The courts have handed down sentences that reflect the damage these individuals are doing to society and show it won’t be tolerated.

“This should serve as a warning to others involved in this type of serious criminality and who are damaging our communities, at some point in the future, you will be put in front of the courts to answer for what you are doing.”

– Temporary Detective Superintendent Paul Duhig

CPS welcomes Flass House drugs conspiracy convictions

Flass House. Credit: ITV News

The Crown Prosecution Service has welcomed the conviction of three men, who were involved in a major drugs conspiracy centred on a stately home in the Eden Valley.

Dean Cameron, 53, Philip Branigan, 32, and Charles Neophytou, 47, denied playing roles in a plot based at the Grade II-listed Flass mansion in Maulds Meaburn, near Penrith.

A cannabis farm with a street value of around £5m was discovered there.

But all three were found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court of conspiracy to supply cannabis between May 2011 and May 2012.

Five other gang members, including the owner of the house, had pleaded guilty at earlier hearings:

  • David Lawrence pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B
  • Philip Branigan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B
  • Charles Neophytou pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B
  • Dean Cameron pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B
  • Lee Banks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B and possession of Class B with intent to supply
  • Paul Whelan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B and possession of cannabis
  • Mark Gallagher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B, offering to supply class B, possession of Class B with intent to supply, fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of Class C and abstracting electricity
  • Paul Davies pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B

Today the final members of this organised drugs gang have been found guilty of their involvement in an extremely large cannabis farm in a quiet village in the heart of Cumbria.

This was a professional set up, whereby cannabis was being grown in at least 10 rooms in the house. A large diesel generator was bought in to power the electricity needed to maintain the plants in order to avoid unusually high utility bills.

The owner of the house, Paul Davies, was paid handsomely for renting it out to the other gang members specifically for the purpose of growing cannabis.

The CPS and Police are dedicated to bringing to justice those involved in producing and supplying drugs and will continue to work together using the proceeds of crime act to trace and recover any profits they have made from this illicit enterprise.”

– Isla Chilton, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West


Trio convicted over stately home drugs conspiracy

Three men have been convicted of being involved in a major drugs conspiracy which centred on a stately home in the Eden Valley.

Dean Cameron, 53, Philip Branigan, 32, and Charles Neophytou, 47, denied playing roles in a plot based at the Grade II-listed Flass mansion in Maulds Meaburn, near Penrith.

Flass House, near Penrith Credit: ITV News Border

The offences took place over a 13-month period to May 2012. Police estimate an illegal cannabis bush with a street value of up to £5.2 million could have been produced during that time.

The three men were each found guilty by a jury in a trial that lasted nearly three weeks at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge Paul Batty QC told the three men, all from addresses outside of Cumbria, that it was "inevitable" that they will each serve considerable jail terms.

The three men have been remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in September. They will be sentenced alongside five other men, also from outside the county, who previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.

38 people charged over "Cash for Crash" offences

Cumbria Police have charged 38 people from across the county with "Cash for Crash" insurance fraud offences. Officers investigated numerous people for conspiring to defraud motor insurance companies for collisions that allegedly occurred in the county between 2010 and 2014.

Among the 38, Sarah Kidd, 33, from Carlisle, has been summoned to court for a connected offence of money laundering.

The investigation was a joint operation between Cumbria Police, the Motor Insurance Bureau and the Crown Prosecution Service.

All 38 people are expected appear before North Cumbria Magistrates Court on 28th July 2015 in connection with these offences.

Police investigate west Cumbria chicken carcass dumpings

Surviving cockerel, George Credit: Cumbria Police

Police are investigating the dumping of large numbers of chicken carcasses in west Cumbria.

Staff from Copeland Borough Council discovered disposals at Red Beck Road in Wath Brow and Bleach Green in Ennerdale Valley.

At the disposal site along Red Beck Road a lone surviving cockerel was found, captured and is currently being looked after by a member of Cumbria Constabulary.

Police say ‘George’, as he has been named, is doing well and will be adopted out once he fully recovers.

“The disposals are thought to have taken place very recently, possibly sometime last week. We are investigating to establish what exactly has happened.

"At the least this is an offence of fly-tipping and an environmental hazard, and at worst it potentially is a case of animal cruelty. I would urge anyone local to the area who may have any information to get in touch and help our investigation.”

– PCSO Alan Willison

Anyone with any information should call Cumbria Police on 101 and ask for PCSO Alan Willison, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Former police officer jailed for fraud

Tracy Taylor and Paul Taylor Credit: ITV Border

A police officer who splashed out on luxury holidays and a BMW car while lying about her income, expenditure and assets in a bid to pay less of her debts has been jailed for eight months.

Tracy Taylor of Irthington near Carlisle was working for Cumbria Police when she made false declarations while setting up an Independent Voluntary Agreement (IVA) - an arrangement with creditors to pay all or part of your debts.

The 43-year-old splashed out £9,000 in cash on a BMW Z3 car and several thousand pounds on a luxury two week holiday to Italy after declaring her husband Paul and her only had a disposable income of £160 a month.

She told the insolvency practitioner when applying for an Independent Voluntary Agreement that they were spending £595 on fuel and £595 on childcare each month.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how her childcare fees were actually £14.40 which her employer, Cumbria Constabulary, were paying leaving her with a bill of zero.

Andrew Walker, prosecuting, told the court how Taylor was only driving eight miles a day to work and back and not the 40 miles a day which she declared.

Mr Walker added that Taylor was claiming her car insurance was £187 a month when direct debit showed it was just £90.

She also told them she paid monthly water bills or £45 which were actually £20 a month.

Taylor failed to declare a savings plan she had which contained £1829 and her ICA bank account with a balance of £316.

She did not declare that she had rented out her home, bringing in an extra £750 a month, totalling £5250, while they were house sitting for a neighbour and living rent free.

After making false declarations, Taylor was asked to pay back £20,000 of the £64,000 debt she had via the IVA. After considering her finances, £44,000 was written off by creditors.

Mr Walker said: "It's bound to have had an effect on the scope of the IVA or whether an IVA would have been agreed at all."

Taylor and her husband, who is a chef, got into debt after three of her husband's businesses, which made puddings, failed.

Mr Walker told the court that the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence towards her husband Paul Taylor and the charges against him were dropped.

Her crimes came to light after an investigation by Cumbria Police and she was arrested and charged.

Taylor admitted two counts of making a false representation and one count of fraud at a previous hearing.

Mark Aldrid, defending, said: "They were the victims of fraud from a fraudster. He defrauded them of £10,000.

"There was an employee dispute which resulted in them losing more money, thousands of pounds.

"Mrs Taylor was failing at work.

"Medical records showed the Taylor's were trying for a another child and failing for medical reasons.

"Medical records also show a history of depression.

"It was fear of failing to make the payments with the IVA that led her to make these serious errors of judgement.

"In her mind she had to make the payments of the IVA. She tried to ensure the monthly payment was one she could manage she went about this entirely the wrong way.

"She has made repayments totally £5000 and she is in touch with the IVA.

"She went about it completely the wrong way and has lost everything. She has lost her good character, she has brought shame on her family, she has been dismissed from her employment."

"It was your responsibility to provide accurate information.

"Had the creditors and the insolvency practitioner known the actual amount it's possible an IVA would not have been entered into and certainly it would have been a much higher monthly figure and more would have been repaid.

"You were a serving police officer it's not surprise that the Insolvency practitioner and the creditors accepted your forgery in this case. They trusted you.

"Your life as a police officer is over. You were dismissed from the service yesterday at the disciplinary hearing."

– Judge Edward Bindloss

WATCH: crime in Cumbria

Violent crime in Cumbria has risen sharply over the last year according to the latest figures published today.

Overall crime also went up.

However Cumbria Police says that over the last five years crime has fallen and that Cumbria remains one of the lowest areas for crime in the whole country.

Tim Backshall has been looking at the latest figures:

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