An Essex man who was given a suspended sentence for growing cannabis in a fake room he'd constructed in his bedroom will now be sent to prison.
24-year old James Brooks from Southend will have to serve almost three years in jail after the court of appeal ruled the original sentence for drugs offences was too lenient.
Brooks has been ordered to surrender himself to Southend police station today.
Brooks was given an 18-month suspended sentence at Basildon Crown Court in July after pleading guilty to producing a Class B drug, possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.
He was arrested in April this year when officers from the Southend Operation Raptor team raided his flat in Viceroy Court. They found herbal cannabis, cocaine and a false room which has been constructed within his bedroom which housed a small cannabis growing operation. Six plants of the Class B drug were growing inside.
Officers searched the rest of the property and found: scales; deal bags to parcel up drugs for customers; cash; a knuckleduster; and a machete.
Brooks was given a 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month drug rehabilitation order.
"Operation Raptor will continue to target those people selling drugs on the streets of our county. We will also continue to work hand in hand with our criminal justice partners to ensure that those involved in this type of crime will continue to face the full force of the law.”
"The Court of Appeal agreed that the sentence was unduly lenient and quashed the original sentence before subsequently increasing the length of imprisonment. Crimes of this type have devastating effects on our local communities and we will continue to work in partnership with the police to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”
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Three teenagers have been arrested after a boy was stabbed in the back and shoulder in Essex.
It happened at Christchurch Road in Southend around 3.35pm on Saturday, August 18.
The victim was airlifted to hospital but police said he was not thought to have suffered life-threatening or life-changing injuries.
A 13-year-old boy and two girls, both aged 17, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.
A homeless man who raped a vulnerable person with learning difficulties has been jailed for 10 years.
30-year old Llie Ciubotaru of no fixed address attacked a man in a property in Southend in December 2016.
He was sentenced after a five day trial at Basildon Crown Court.
Police say he'd been walking the streets looking for a room for the night when he knocked on the victim's door in the early hours of the morning, forcing his way into the property.
“We believe Ciubotaru was walking the streets looking for a room for the night when he took advantage of a vulnerable man within our community. He is a dangerous individual who overpowered his victim in his own home and then raped him. I would like to praise the victim for his courage and bravery throughout our investigation and subsequent trial. I hope Ciubotaru’s lengthy custodial sentence offers some justice to him and his family."
An investigation has been launched after a woman in her 20s was raped in Southend.
Officers were called to Pier Hill around 11.30pm on Wednesday night (4 July) to reports that a woman in her 20s had been attacked.
The victim is being supported by specialist officers.
Police are appealing for information.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Steve Franklin said “We’d like to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or saw a woman in distress around the Pier Hill area at this time.
"Please contact myself or the Southend Crime and Public Protection Unit on 101, quoting reference 42/94724/18.”
A fourth person has been charged with murder following the stabbing of a teenager in Southend.
Nineteen-year-old Fabian Kacica died from a single stab wound at Farringdon Service Road, outside The Forum, on Monday May 14.
Aidon Pearce, 20, of Treecot Drive in Leigh-on-Sea, is the fourth person to be charged over the killing. He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today (Saturday May 19).
A 20-year-old man from Southend, an 18-year-old man from Leigh-on-Sea, and a 17-year-old boy from Shoeburyness have already appeared in court.
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A man in his 20s has been stabbed in Essex.
It happened on the junction of Elmer Approach and Luker Road in Southend around 7pm on Saturday evening (May 12).
Police say the victim was involved in an altercation, believed to be with four of five teenagers.
His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Officers are keen to speak to witnesses or anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage available.
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