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  1. ITV Report

Drug dealer jailed for 20 years for killing vulnerable man

'Vulnerable' Jason Betts was coerced into selling drugs by two London dealers Credit: Family

A drug dealer has been jailed for 20 years for killing a vulnerable man from Yate. Police say Jason Betts' friends and family were devastated by his death.

The 38-year-old died in hospital after being found unconscious at a flat on Celestine Road by a friend on 5 March 2015.

Police at the scene in Yate in March 2015 Credit: ITV News

A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Betts had suffered a head injury which had caused a bleed to the brain.

Skeen has been sentenced to 20 years while Apire will serve 15 Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Nathan Skeen, of Ermine Road, London has been jailed for 20 years. He was found guilty of manslaughter and wounding with intent after a five-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He’d previously admitted being involved in the supply of class A drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

A second man, Nixon Apire, of New Barnet has been sentenced to 15 years. He admitted assaulting Mr Betts a week before his death, and also drugs charges.

Witnesses say both men were responsible for this earlier attack in which Mr Betts was stabbed in the leg, had cigarettes stubbed out on his face and was hit over the head with a bottle and a glass.

The Senior Investigating Officer says the case demonstrates how dangerous the drug trade is.

Jason was a vulnerable man who had significant health and drug addiction issues.

Skeen and Apire callously took advantage of Jason’s vulnerability and coerced him into selling class A drugs, including crack cocaine and heroin, on their behalf on a low-level basis in the Yate area.

They had a suffocating control over Jason and when they felt he owed them money, they exacted their revenge by assaulting him.

In the assault carried out by Skeen, Jason suffered the injury which led to his death.

I believe two dangerous men have been taken off the streets.

– Senior Investigating Officer Det Supt Andy Bevan
Police say Jason Betts' death has had a devastating effect on his mother, family and close friends Credit: Family