After several months of disruption caused by coronavirus the courts began to function again in the second part of the year – albeit with new social distancing restrictions and a backlog of cases to deal with.

Two men appeared on murder charges and several dangerous offenders were put away. Drug dealing and domestic violence provided backbone of cases. Several appeared for offences committed during lockdown.

Here DevonLive looks back at those put behind bars between July and December 2020.

JULY



Samuel Almey

A ‘callous and despicable’ fraudster has been jailed for swindling a friend out of his life savings and blowing the money on cocaine and parties.

Samuel Almey preyed on the severely autistic victim after meeting him in a pub in Torrington and bled him dry with a series of false stories.

He claimed he needed money to pay for his aunt’s funeral and then convinced the vulnerable young victim that he had committed a crime which he threatened to reveal.

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A homeless man who asked a friend to cut his unruly hair after months of lockdown has been jailed under strict anti-knife laws.

Gareth Preston took a pair of scissors out into the street from the hostel where he was living in Exeter to get a trim but passers-by called the police when they saw him waving them around.

He and his friend had both been drinking and instead of getting his haircut, they appeared to get into an altercation.

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Lee Cozens and Connor Tobin
Lee Cozens and Connor Tobin

A gang of ‘mindless’ vandals have been jailed for causing £500,000 damage to South Devon College after systematically wrecking storage rooms.

On the same night they smashed into the veterinary department of Paignton Zoo, apparently trying to steal drugs.

Shane Cozens and Connor Tobin – both former members of a drug gang which plagued South Devon in 2016 – broke into the former teaching block at the further education college in Paignton and used crowbars to smash everything they could find inside.

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Troy Coaker
Troy Coaker

A crack dealer has been jailed for turning a public park in Exeter into his own personal drug store.

Troy Coaker and his friend Adam Morris sold heroin and crack to a group of addicts quite openly and in view of families who were playing with their children in Belle Isle Park in Exeter.

They were caught by undercover police who were aware that the picturesque riverside park had become a haunt of drug users and dealers.

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Torbay drugs gang jailed
Torbay drugs gang jailed

A gang which ran a £1.6 million drug dealing operation in Torquay and Newton Abbot have been jailed for a total of 146 years.

The organised crime group brought a kilogram of heroin and cocaine a month from Liverpool and its leaders used extreme violence to protect their turf.

Leader Joshua Garrett was jailed in March for setting up and running the group and attempting to murder a tourist who he mistook for a rival dealer from London.

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A burglar who broke into a family’s home as they slept upstairs was caught after he used their stolen bank cards to by vodka and Jack Daniels.

Steven Trower was already drunk when police arrested him on Bideford Quay at 11.35 am on the morning after the raid on a house 400 metres away in Northdown Road.

He and fellow burglar Quinn Britton were living rough in the town and broke into the family home as the owners and their two children slept upstairs.

.

For free practical help and advice contact Victim Support 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 08081689111 or live webchat at victimsupport.org.uk

For bespoke local services call the Devon and Cornwall Victim Care Unit on 01392 475900 or find out more about the unit by visiting victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk

Reporting a crime:

In an emergency call 999. Non emergencies can be reported at dc.police.uk via webchat or online form, alternatively call 101



Police mugshot of Jordan Sturcbecher

A car cruise driver has been jailed for killing his 16-year-old passenger after he lost control on a bend and hit a tree stump.

Jordan Sturcbecher has just overtaken a friend’s car and was driving too fast on a country road when he killed his friend Brandon Martin.

The teenager was killed as the Toyota Celica came off the Cullompton to Willand road at 1.50 am as Sturcbecher drove at 70 mph in a 40-mph zone.

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A dangerous child abuser has been jailed for using lockdown as a ploy to gain access to young children in a Devon village.

Ian Maunder posed as a good neighbour who offered to help with shopping trips but then took a young girl with him in his car.

He went on to take the bored child for a walk to a beauty spot and on a second trip to a supermarket, all during the height of the Covid 19 lockdown in April.

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James Bull September 2019
James Bull September 2019

A Devon farmer has been jailed for throwing his ex-girlfriend into a stream when she tried to help police catch him during a foot chase.

James Bull ran away from police when they tried to arrest him for breaking a non-molestation order and attacked the victim when she stood in his way.

He deliberately barged her off a path into the brook by the side of the road and later told police ‘it was f***ing hilarious. I ran away laughing’.

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Dominic Smith
Dominic Smith

A charity shop burglar has been jailed after he was identified by his bizarre bird’s nest hair style.

Dominic Smith used a crowbar to jemmy his way into the Hospiscare store in Fore Street where he was caught on CCTV searching offices, a store room and the shop.

Police traced him within hours because of his unique haircut. Officers recognised him because he has 50 previous conviction and was on early release from prison.

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More stories by Paul Greaves



Stuart Fowler has been jailed
Stuart Fowler has been jailed

A burglar has been jailed for climbing through an Exeter University student’s window as she cooked her supper and stealing her laptop.

Stuart Fowler leaned in the window of the ground floor room at a hall of residence in Sidwell Street and used a stick to hook the mains lead of the brand new £1,500 MacBook.

He dragged the computer to within his reach and knocked over a potted plant on the windowsill as he pulled it and the charger out of the window.

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A homeless man has been jailed for threatening neighbours with a knife while he was staying with his girlfriend during the lockdown.

Paul Barnard went into the landing of the house in Teignmouth after partner Kelly Yeo fled her flat and menaced two other residents with the bread knife.

He raised the weapon towards one of them and said ‘you know full well what I will do with it’. He was disarmed after police were called.

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Police mugshot of Matthew Anglesey

A drug dealer who fled from police after crashing during a high speed chase has been jailed.

Matthew Anglesey travelled to Devon with County Lines dealer Joseph Hale to help him sell crack cocaine on the streets of Tiverton.

Their hire car was chased off the M5 by police as they brought a consignment of drugs from their home town of Liverpool in June last year.

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Ahmed Abdullahi
Ahmed Abdullahi

A drug dealer who used 14-year-old ‘modern slaves’ to sell drugs in Exeter has been jailed after he was caught in bed with one of his girl recruits.

Ahmed Abdullahi was on the run from the police when he was tracked down to a hotel room where he was sleeping with a girl who had only turned 16 a week before.

They had £4,160 worth of drugs and £500 cash with them. The girl was not prosecuted because police deemed her to be a modern slave.

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AUGUST



Rhys Wright has been jailed for violence
Rhys Wright has been jailed for violence

A thug has been jailed for a hate-fuelled attack in the centre of Exeter which horrified shoppers and passers-by.

Rhys Wright was already drunk by 8.20am on a Saturday morning last month when he attacked a man.

He punched and kicked the victim to the ground, walked away, and then sprinted back to do exactly the same thing a second time.

The victim had left the scene by the time police arrived and was never traced but was seen with blood on his face by two passing motorists.

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Oliver Hellawell
Oliver Hellawell

A trucker who caused havoc on the North Devon Link road has been jailed after be flouted a ban and was caught drink driving.

Oliver Hellawell got back behind the wheel despite being subject to a suspended sentence for a case of dangerous driving which ended in a crash at the Bish Mill roundabout.

The A361 link road was blocked after his 43-tonne artic demolished a lamp post. Police had already been alerted to his bad driving by other motorists who saw the truck weaving around the road.

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Kieron Nolan
Kieron Nolan

A drug gang courier who had 1,000 street deals of cocaine hidden up his bottom has been jailed.

Kieron Nolan was one of three men stopped on the M5 near Cullompton in May last year by police who were investigating a Manchester based County Lines operation.

He was found with 111 grams of high purity cocaine inside his body. It was enough to make 1,110 street deals which would sell for £10 each, making a total value of £11,100.

The drugs were destined to be sold on the streets of either Exeter or Plymouth, where Manchester gangs have long standing connections.

For free practical help and advice contact Victim Support 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 08081689111 or live webchat at victimsupport.org.uk

For bespoke local services call the Devon and Cornwall Victim Care Unit on 01392 475900 or find out more about the unit by visiting victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk

Reporting a crime:

In an emergency call 999. Non emergencies can be reported at dc.police.uk via webchat or online form, alternatively call 101

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Fahad Issa
Fahad Issa

A cuckoo drug dealer who set up shop in an addict’s home in Barnstaple has been jailed.

Fahad Issa worked with a London based County Lines gang for a year and took photographs of wads of cash which he sent to friends with the caption ‘I’ve been doing bits’.

One photo showed a man with a large amount of cash but with his face obscured by an emoji.

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Quinn Britton
Quinn Britton

A professional beggar who turned to crime after his income dried up during lockdown has been jailed for raiding a family’s home as they slept upstairs.

Quinn Britton has been homeless since he was 16 but managed to fund a heroin habit for four years by begging on the streets of Barnstaple and Bideford.

He fell in with more experienced criminals after his income dropped and ended up committing a string of offences.

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More stories by Paul Greaves

A jealous boyfriend has been jailed for biting his ex-partner on the nose and cheek during a late-night argument about her seeing other men.

Sonny Proctor left the 22-year-old victim covered in bruises from head to toe and with a bite mark on her face after the drunken attack.

He went on to defy an order to stay away from her and was caught with her at a room where he was living in a supported housing project in Exeter.

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Martyn Oliver
Martyn Oliver

A criminal who boasted on Twitter that ‘being a thief is terrific’ has been jailed after he went on a lockdown crime spree.

Martyn Oliver posted a picture of his tattooed body in a gym three years ago with the message: “Loving life. Being a thief is a terrific. But the trouble is they put you in jail for it.”

His prediction came true after he broke into three houses while the owners were asleep upstairs.

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David Orchard Withyman

A drifter has been jailed for having sex with three under age girls and trying to set up dates with two more.

David Orchard, who is also known as Withyman, was sofa surfing or living in his car when he met the girls, aged 13, 14 and 15.

He was caught because he started walking one to school and teachers became worried about his contact with her.

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Carl Pedlar was jailed for a year

A violent boyfriend has been jailed after he kicked and punched his partner in a drunken rage.

Carl Pedlar had been drinking cans of lager with the victim at a park in Bideford before they had an argument at her home.

She fled the house during the attack but he tried to drag her back by her hair as she screamed for help.

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Ali Hassan (left) and Maisha Choudhury

A drug dealer who ‘revelled’ in his success by filming himself with piles of cash has been jailed.

Ali Hassan made the clips while he was selling heroin and crack in Exeter on behalf of a London gang but they proved his undoing when police seized his phone.

He was working with a young homeless woman who was pressured into joining the county lines operation because she had drug debts.

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Rupert Ellis
Rupert Ellis

A county lines drug dealer who called himself King has been jailed after he was found hiding vital evidence in his underpants.

Rupert Ellis managed a heroin and crack cocaine business in Exeter and recruited three fellow Londoners to help him deliver drugs and take money back to the capital.

His drug line used the brand name King and he was caught after police spotted his underlings selling to known users on Sidwell Street.

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Louis Fitzgerald (left) and Kai Black

A bragging drug dealer has been jailed after he was found with videos of cash and guns on his phone.

Louis Fitzgerald filmed himself loading and holding up a rifle and had clips showing bundles of banknotes and bags of drugs on an iPhone which was seized by police.

He was caught selling heroin and crack to addicts in a graveyard in Exeter with a friend from Liverpool who had hidden their £700 stash inside his body.

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Simon Rickard was seen staggering away from the house on Pennsylvania Road

A burglar has been jailed after worried neighbours reported him to police for being out and about during the coronavirus lockdown.

Simon Rickard was seen staggering away from the house in Exeter with a can of alcohol in his hand and residents alerted the authorities to his irresponsible behaviour.

One of them was a key worker who feared he could be spreading the virus by failing to follow the strict rules which were in place back in April.

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Exeter Crown Court stories



Mark McIntyre made thousands of pounds selling drugs – despite being almost totally blind

A nearly blind cannabis dealer built up £15,500 in savings by selling drugs from his bedroom and getting buyers to pay straight into his bank account.

Mark McIntyre suffers from a type of tunnel vision which means he spends most of his time at home, but it did not stop him building up a large customer base.

He has been jailed for carrying on with his lucrative business after he was caught by police and given a suspended sentence by a judge.

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Police mugshot of Amin Hussein

A would-be child abductor has been jailed for starting a friendship with a single mother without telling her about his criminal past.

The mother from Devon was horrified when police told her that Amin Hussein had tried to grab a ten-year-old girl at a supermarket in Bristol four years ago.

He was subject to a restraining order which forbade him from having any contact with children unless he told their parents about his conviction.

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Police mugshot of Ashley Pottle

A serial stalker has been jailed after he flouted a order to stay away from his ex partner and left her a prisoner in her own home.

Ashley Pottle carried on his campaign of harassment even after being locked up for a month and then receiving a suspended sentence in December last year.

He was banned from contacting the terrified woman or her mother and the restraining order even prohibited him from going to three streets in Exeter around where she lived.

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SEPTEMBER



Paul Bairstow was last seen on the afternoon on 26 July 2020
Paul Bairstow was last seen on the afternoon on 26 July 2020

A child sex abuser who faked his suicide to try to evade justice has been jailed after police unravelled his web of lies.

Paul Bairstow sent suicide notes to his solicitor, family and friends saying he was planning to take his own life on the day before he was due to go on trial.

He vanished in woodland near Newton Abbot, Devon, and police issued a public appeal in which they asked for help to find him and said they were concerned about his welfare.



Timothy Milton aka Fisk
Timothy Milton aka Fisk

A drunken guest has been jailed for stabbing his girlfriend in the face with a shard of glass from a window which he had just broken.

Timothy Milton was visiting his partner at the holiday cottages where she worked when he became upset and violent.

He was thrown out by her and the owner of the cottages but head butted a window and then jabbed a piece of the broken glass through it from outside, nicking his girlfriend’s nose.



Wayne Jennings, aged 36, of no fixed address but originally from Plymouth, was found guilty of offering to supply heroin at a trial at Exeter Crown Court last month
Wayne Jennings, aged 36, of no fixed address but originally from Plymouth, was found guilty of offering to supply heroin at a trial at Exeter Crown Court last month

A drug dealer has been jailed after being caught because of a tattoo of his nickname on the back of his neck.

Wayne Jennings, aged 36, of no fixed address but originally from Plymouth, was found guilty of offering to supply heroin at a trial at Exeter Crown Court last month.

Jennings was seen dealing heroin just yards from Exeter Cathedral and caught in possession of a phone on which he had used his street name Sonic to advertise drugs.

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Paul Edwards has been jailed
Paul Edwards has been jailed

Devon’s worst driver has been jailed after he forced oncoming traffic to swerve out of the way during a police chase.

Paul Edwards has an appalling driving record with 55 driving offences and had only been out of jail for a few weeks when he ignored a driving ban and got behind the wheel of a Skoda.

He was recognised by a passing police patrol in Torquay but sped off at 50mph on the wrong side of the road in a 30mph limit, narrowly missing a motorcycle and a stream of cars.



Ryan Nettle
Ryan Nettle

A prison inmate who threw faeces and urine over a teacher’s face in a ‘disgusting’ attack has had his sentence extended.

Ryan Nettle left the victim feeling so filthy that he took three showers and was still scared to hug his family when he got home.

The inmate went on to spit at a prison officer at a time when he was in an isolation cell with COVID-19 symptoms at the height of the pandemic.



Robert Clark
Robert Clark

A retired teacher has been jailed for abusing a young boy in North Devon.

Robert Clark was a supply teacher working in Devon during the 1980s and 1990s until he was barred from the profession for touching two primary school pupils.

He was living on a smallholding in North Devon where he also worked as a handyman and later became a potter.



Ryan Christie
Ryan Christie

A street dealer has been jailed after police watched a County Lines gang selling heroin and cocaine in an Exeter churchyard.

Ryan Christie was recruited by the Midlands-based crime group because he was an addict who was desperate for heroin to feed his habit.

He was seen dealing on Exe Bridges on August 20 and police watched him and another man walking under the railway bridge and up Cowick Street.



Paul Snowdon
Paul Snowdon

A solvent sniffing driver has been jailed for killing a woman passenger in a high-speed head-on crash on a country road.

Paul Snowdon inhaled the butane gas from a canister as he overtook cars on blind bends at speeds of up to 90mph on the road between Torrington and Bideford.

Mother-of-two Kelly Gliddon, aged 41, was a back-seat passenger in his Vauxhall Astra and died of chest injuries after the car crashed as he was overtaking a van near Little America.



Louise Woolston has been jailed for three years after admitting two counts of possession of class A with intent to supply
Louise Woolston has been jailed for three years after admitting two counts of possession of class A with intent to supply

A female drug dealer has been jailed after she was caught selling heroin and crack in Barnstaple twice in the space of two years.

Louise Woolston was on bail for the first drugs bust when she was caught by plain clothes officers who observed her with a group of local addicts in Bear Street.

She was operating with a young drug dealer from London who was caught with £2,070 cash hidden in his trousers. The pair had thrown away the drugs they were carrying but they were sniffed out by a police dog.

For free practical help and advice contact Victim Support 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 08081689111 or live webchat at victimsupport.org.uk

For bespoke local services call the Devon and Cornwall Victim Care Unit on 01392 475900 or find out more about the unit by visiting victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk

Reporting a crime:

In an emergency call 999. Non emergencies can be reported at dc.police.uk via webchat or online form, alternatively call 101



Christopher Perry

An online groomer who was trapped by undercover police has been jailed after being caught heading for a children’s summer camp in America.

Former teacher Christopher Perry fell for two different sting operations in which child protection officers posed as girls aged 11 and 12.

He sent a stream of social media messages asking the girls to touch themselves and fantasising about having sex with them.

Police were so worried at the prospect of him having contact with young girls that they arrested him at Gatwick Airport as he headed for a summer camp in Philadelphia in June last year.



David Collings
David Collings

A masked attacker has been jailed for bursting into an autistic man’s room and putting a realistic looking fake gun to his head.

David Collings believed the young victim had been spreading rumours that he is a paedophile and went to his sheltered accommodation to terrify him into silence.

He took friend Fabian Leat with him on the raid on the property in Ilfracombe and gave him a large claw hammer to take with him on the mission.



Dominic Webb

A burglar who was driven out a family’s home by their pet dog has been jailed after being traced by blood from the bite wound.

Dominic Webb was one of an armed gang who burst into a house in Torquay at 2am and demanded money from the family who lived there.

One of the others threatened the owner’s 15-year-old son with a knife while Webb punched an older brother in the face until the dog intervened and bit him in the face.



Police mugshot of Trevor Hannaford

A bomb hoaxer who called himself ‘The Dark Knight’ has been jailed after carrying out a bizarre two-month campaign of hate.

Trevor Hannaford called police to say he had planted a bomb in a taxi in Exeter and ended one call by saying ‘tick tock, tick tock’.

The main target for his jealous hatred was a taxi driver who had started a relationship with his ex-partner, but he also made threats to two prisons.



Liam Stocks
Liam Stocks

An ‘incredibly dangerous’ driver has been jailed after he rammed a police car and narrowly missed an officer at a roadblock.

Liam Stocks was being hunted by police after driving off from a filling station at Heathfield, Newton Abbot in a 2.5 ton Nissan Navara pickup without paying.

Officers set up a road block in a country road near Bovey Tracey but he drove through it, narrowly missing Pc Lewis Small who had to jump out of the way.



Police mugshot of Ricky Davis

A holidaymaker has been jailed for a drunken sex assault on a 16-year-old girl inside a beauty salon.

Ricky Davies did not know the victim at all but barged into the shop in Brixham and was loud and abusive before he grabbed her from behind.

She yelped in shock and pain as he touched her private parts through her clothing before being chucked out of the salon.



Tyrese Blake-Hakeem
Tyrese Blake-Hakeem

A drug dealer who spat in the eyes of police when he was arrested has been jailed for supplying heroin and crack cocaine in Torquay.

Tyrese Blake-Hakeem was stopped by plain clothes officers in the Rock Road area of Torquay on October 24, 2019, following a suspected drugs exchange. He was found to be in possession of a large amount of crack cocaine, heroin and cash.

On November 1 he was found at an address in Torquay following welfare concerns for the occupant. He had possession of a large amount of cash and two mobile phones. Following his arrest he later produced a package of crack cocaine and heroin which he had concealed internally.



Ezra Robinson
Ezra Robinson

An Afghan veteran has been jailed for attacking a teenager and spraying him in the face with a can of Lynx deodorant.

Former Royal Engineer Ezra Robinson chased after the terrified teen and cornered him in a KFC restaurant on Bonfire Night.

The 27 year old threw him to the ground, lined him up and repeatedly punched him in the face and body and kicked him.



Marcus Daniell has been jailed for 11 years
Marcus Daniell has been jailed for 11 years

A mental health carer has been jailed for starting sexual relationships with two highly vulnerable teenage patients and groping a third.

Marcus Daniell was allowed to carry on working at a privately run adolescent psychiatric hospital despite the first victim making a complaint and staff raising concerns about his behaviour.

He groomed the girls, who were aged 16 and 17, with presents and sweets and told two of them he loved them. He started the sexual abuse with cuddles and progressed to more serious acts.

OCTOBER



Lewis Finch has been found guilty of murdering Geoffrey Pearce
Lewis Finch has been found guilty of murdering Geoffrey Pearce

A revenge killer has been told he must spend at least 22 years in jail for the brutal murder of a man who he accused of sexually abusing him as a child.

Lewis Finch was jailed for life after a Judge described his attack on scrap dealer Geoffrey Pearce as a ‘dreadful deed’.

Finch, aged 31, killed Mr Pearce by battering him at least three times with a pick axe handle or hammer and then throttling him with a plastic cable tie to finish him off.



Roy Gornall
Roy Gornall

A bully boyfriend has been jailed after he used an illegal mobile phone to threaten his ex-partner from prison.

Roy Gornall was in jail for attacking a different ex-girlfriend when he made the calls to the mother of his three children.

He threatened to attack her when he was released and said he would make false allegations of child abuse against her which would result in her family being taken away from her.

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Russell Cody has been jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to a stalking which caused serious harm and distress charge
Russell Cody has been jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to a stalking which caused serious harm and distress charge

A revenge porn stalker has been jailed for hi-jacking his ex-partner’s social media accounts and using them to send sordid sex clips to her boss and family.

Cody Russell drove the 20-year-old woman to the brink of suicide by taking over her entire digital existence for five months after she ditched him.

He knew all the passwords and log-ins she used for her bank, mobile phone, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts and hacked into all of them.



Michael Carey

A boasting drug dealer who claimed he got away with selling 100 kilos of cocaine has been jailed after being caught red handed as he picked up a £44,000 consignment.

Michael Carey ran a large scale supply operation from his girlfriend’s home in Ilfracombe where she had installed a reinforced front door to stop the police getting in.

He had two high powered 30,000 volt tasers to protect his drugs and was found with more than £25,000 cash during two different police raids.



Lewis Buckland
Lewis Buckland

A drug dealer who bit a policeman as he tried to evade arrest has been jailed.

Lewis Buckland fled when he and fellow dealer Jacob Sawa were approached by undercover officers in Exeter and he sunk his teeth into one of them as he was being held down on the ground.

His friend Sawa threw away a Kinder egg containing the drugs before he was nabbed but it was found on the verge nearby. He was carrying a knuckleduster but did not use it.



Mathew Richards
Mathew Richards

An obsessive stalker has been jailed for using a ladder to climb into his ex partner’s home after she ended their lockdown romance.

Mathew Richardsstarted the relationship with the single mother in March without telling her that he had a ten-year history of domestic violence or that he was a registered sex offender.

He refused his rejection when his partner got fed up with his paranoid behaviour after six months of their on-off relationship.



A new father who rushed from court to attend the birth of his child has been jailed after returning for sentence two weeks later.

Azi Ullah ran a small-scale cocaine dealing business from the welding firm where he worked in Torquay and was caught flushing £2,000 of drugs down the toilet when police raided it.

He was given bail after admitting the offence at Exeter Crown Court on October 5 because the judge was told that his wife had just gone into labour.



Aaron Mitchell, 29, has been jailed after aiming a ball bearing gun at police
Aaron Mitchell, 29, has been jailed after aiming a ball bearing gun at police

A gunman has been jailed for aiming a loaded ball-bearing firing weapon at police as they tried to arrest him.

Aaron Mitchell terrified the two officers who were confronted by him holding the realistic looking pistol in the hallway of his house.

They feared for their lives when he lifted the gun from his side and pointed it towards them before lowering it again as he was tasered.



Cyril Jury
Cyril Jury

A hit and run driver has been jailed for leaving a 16-year-old boy seriously injured in the road as he sped off and tried to hide his damaged car.

Cyril Jury drove off despite being unable to see through the shattered windscreen and locked the car away at his scaffolding firm’s yard a mile and a half away.

He was caught because sharp eyed police followed a trail of liquid from the damaged radiator and an officer climbed over a security fence to locate the hidden BMW.

For free practical help and advice contact Victim Support 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 08081689111 or live webchat at victimsupport.org.uk

For bespoke local services call the Devon and Cornwall Victim Care Unit on 01392 475900 or find out more about the unit by visiting victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk

Reporting a crime:

In an emergency call 999. Non emergencies can be reported at dc.police.uk via webchat or online form, alternatively call 101



Scott Patterson
Scott Patterson

A dangerous street drinker has been jailed for a vicious attack on a dog walker – throwing him into a pond and kicking him repeatedly in the face as he tried to scramble out.

Homeless Scott Patterson set on Piotor Chadanowicz as he chatted with a friend on a bench next to the ornamental pond in Victoria Park, Paignton.

He tried to grab his dog and rucksack and punched him in the face when he got up to remonstrate. The blow was so hard it knocked him backwards into the water.



Joshua Magee set light to Tesco in Paignton with vodka
Joshua Magee set light to Tesco in Paignton with vodka

A crazed attacker has been jailed for an hour-long rampage in which he terrified tourists, a bin lorry driver, and supermarket staff.

Joshua Magee ended his bizarre crime spree by stealing bottles of vodka from a Tesco in Paignton and pouring it onto a counter before trying to set light to it.

Then he held his ex-girlfriend as a human shield and poured more alcohol over her head as he kept police at bay inside the shop.



A sex attacker has been jailed for subjecting a lone woman to a terrifying alleyway ordeal after shadowing her through the streets of Torquay at night.

Lukasz Dach spotted the 25-year-old stranger as she walked home through the centre of Torquay at around 1.45am and tried to drag her off the well-lit street into a dark alley.

He forced his hand up her denim shorts with such violence that he ripped them and she was only saved because two passing motorists heard her screams and went to her rescue. Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court said she thought with good reason she was going to be raped but her loud screams for help saved her.

A voyeur has been jailed for photographing a woman’s private parts as she slept after a night out at a club.

Daniel Hutton took the sneak photographs of the woman after giving her a lift home and trying to have sex with her before she fell asleep.

She was woken by the flash of his camera and click of the shutter and realised that he had taken a picture of her from between her open legs.



William Clay
William Clay

A butane-sniffing homeless man has been jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in a garden shed.

William Clay, 20, met the girl in the centre of Barnstaple where they started using the gas.

He was living on the streets at the time and decided to go to the shed. They took more butane and ended up having unprotected sex.



James Watson
James Watson

A sex offender who lied about being cured of his lust for small boys has been jailed after he groomed and 11-year-old boy.

James Watson had been convicted a decade earlier for doing exactly the same thing while living in Essex, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Watson completed a sex offenders’ treatment programme after that offence and later claimed to have a certificate from a counsellor which proved he was no longer a risk to children.



George Gill
George Gill

A cannabis dealer who upgraded to selling heroin has been jailed after police spotted him handing over drugs in an Ilfracombe alleyway.

George Gill was already subject to a suspended sentence when police found him with nine wraps of heroin and £880 cash from previous sales.

His phone had a message from a user arranging to meet him in a narrow lane in the centre of the town which is nicknamed Skinny Alley.



Peter McDonald has been jailed for nine and a half years

A hammer-wielding intruder has been jailed after he attacked a brave elderly couple who confronted him at 3.20am in the hallway of their home.

Peter McDonald punched and kicked the 82-year-old husband and then attacked his 81-year-old wife with a weapon, leaving her with life-threatening head injuries.

He had done odd jobs for the couple the year before the attack and visited their home a few months earlier trying to borrow money which he claimed he needed for his mother’s funeral.



Tyrone Shellam

A cannabis dealer has been jailed after he was found with £1,605 cash hidden in his sofa, clothing and kitchen.

Tyrone Shellam was also found with enough cannabis to make up 133 street deals, each worth £10, and a phone with drug messages on it.

Police also seized 11 small wraps of crack cocaine, which Shellam had bought for his own use. The largest amount of cash was in a pot which was stuffed between the cushions on the sofa.



Christopher Richards
Christopher Richards

An award-winning firefighter has been jailed for giving bare bottomed spankings to boys when he was a cub leader.

Christopher Richards, from Cullompton, invented petty excuses to dole out what he called punishments to the boys who were aged as young as seven.

He then made them take down their trousers and pants and either smacked or rubbed their bottoms.



Conman Christopher Matt in 2016
Conman Christopher Matt in 2016

A serial conman has been jailed for swindling a Devon man out of thousands of pounds by claiming he was dying of cancer.

Christopher Matt told the victim he had £500,000 in the bank which he planned to leave to him after ending his life in a suicide clinic in Switzerland.

He said he needed a deposit to set up the bank transfer and conned the man into transferring money to him.



Alan Hughes
Alan Hughes


John Kirk
John Kirk

A street dealer and a courier have been jailed after a six month police operation smashed a £100,000 drugs gang which brought more than a kilo of heroin and crack to Exeter.

The dealer was arrested operating in a public park at the height of the Covid lockdown in March and went back into business after being released under investigation by police.

He was caught again in July when police intercepted a driver who was found with more than 1,000 wraps when he was stopped on the M5 near Cullompton.

NOVEMBER



Jailed - Lester Purdy, Jake Purdy and Julian Eslick (Trevor Forbes not pictured)
Jailed – Lester Purdy, Jake Purdy and Julian Eslick (Trevor Forbes not pictured)

A drugs gang who set up shop in a Church of England owned house were jailed after inquisitive villagers noticed their suspicious behaviour.

Lester Purdy ran a £500,000 cocaine dealing operation from the rented house in Ide, near Exeter, but attracted the attention of his neighbours because there were so many comings and goings during the first lockdown.

Villagers tipped off the police about cars visiting the former vicarage and seeing Purdy’s son walking to nearby woodland which was being used as a hiding place for huge stashes of cocaine.



Daniel Hedison has been jailed for breaching his sex offenders order
Daniel Hedison has been jailed for breaching his sex offenders order

A sex offender has been jailed for defying a ban on meeting children and befriending a family with a toddler son.

Daniel Hedison was allowed to play with the child and left alone to babysit him while his mother went out.

The boy’s parents had no idea that he had a conviction for accessing child abuse images on the internet and was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) that restricted his contact with children.



Luigi Palmas has been told he will stay at Broadmoor Hospital for an indefinite period of time
Luigi Palmas has been told he will stay at Broadmoor Hospital for an indefinite period of time

A farm worker has been sent to Broadmoor indefinitely for strangling a woman volunteer to death in a deranged attack in Devon.

Luigi Palmas, an Italian national, had been working at Combe Farm in Gittisham for a month when he killed animal lover Katherine Bevan as she tended cattle in a bull pen in January.

She was a veterinary pharmacist who was living and working at the farm so she could be close to the livestock who she cared for.



Robert Mitchell
Robert Mitchell

A former school caretaker has been jailed after he kept an illegally held sawn-off shotgun to protect a cannabis plantation in his garage.

Robert Mitchell had the potentially lethal weapon and two shotgun cartridges in a filing cabinet in the same outbuilding as he was growing 40 cannabis plants.

The building had metal doors at the front and a side door with a reinforced metal frame and was covered by a CCTV system which Mitchell claimed was to deter intruders.



Kurtis Doel, Liam Elliott and Ben Mitchell
Kurtis Doel, Liam Elliott and Ben Mitchell

A boasting drug dealer who was filmed washing his face in a large bowl of cocaine has been jailed.

Kurtis Doel and two friends ran a street supply operation in which they bought high purity cocaine, diluted it with bulking agents and then sold it through Snapchat.

They were arrested after they set up shop in a city centre hotel in Exeter where they paid in cash and aroused suspicion by making regular trips to meet buyers.



Nathaniel Bannister has been jailed for two years and four months

A drug dealer has been jailed after police caught him red-handed as he bagged up cocaine in a seaside guest house.

Nathaniel Bannister ran his own cannabis dealing operation and was press-ganged into selling cocaine when he ran into debt with his supplier.

He was caught using identical pieces of plastic to wrap up street deals of both drugs when police raided the Shelley Court bed and breakfast in Torquay.



Richard Armitage has been jailed
Richard Armitage has been jailed

A drug dealer has been jailed after he was caught trying to jump bail on a Ryanair flight from Exeter Airport.

Richard Armitage tried to lay a false trail by booking a Brittany Ferries ticket to Santander on the same day as he made his last-minute booking for the flight to Alicante.

He was arrested at the airport with a certificate of ownership of uncut diamonds worth £30,000 and a prepaid bank card which could be credited anonymously from anywhere in the world.

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Kelvin Snow has been jailed for seven years
Kelvin Snow has been jailed for seven years

A child abuser has been jailed for seven years after a Judge told him he had wrecked the lives of his two young victims.

Farm worker Kelvin Snow sexually assaulted the girls when they were aged ten to 12 and were visiting his home or being given lifts in his car.

He kissed them both on the mouth in an adult way and put his hands under the clothing of the younger girl and made her touch him in a sexual manner.



Gheorghe Bertlef has been jailed for 10 years and put on the sex offenders’ register for life
Gheorghe Bertlef has been jailed for 10 years and put on the sex offenders’ register for life

A prowling sex attacker has been jailed for raping a teenager in an alleyway after stalking her through the streets of Exeter in the early hours of the morning.

Gheorghe Bertlef shadowed his victim as she walked home from a night club and waited until two friends peeled off to their own homes before he attacked her.

He accosted the 18-year-old in a pedestrianised lane and then guided her into the alleyway where he demanded sex. She said no but was too terrified to resist as he carried out a 20-minute attack.



Jason Greenfield has been sentenced to a year and four months in prison
Jason Greenfield has been sentenced to a year and four months in prison

A thieving son has been jailed for raiding his parents’ home and cutting his way into their safe to get money to fund his drug habit.

Jason Greenfield used his father’s angle grinder to break into the floor safe in the main bedroom and fled over the garden fence with £300 cash.

He was caught by DNA because he drank a can of Lilt during the burglary at the family home in Torquay and left it in his parents’ bedroom.



Brandon Woodger has been jailed for two years and three months
Brandon Woodger has been jailed for two years and three months

A hotel worker has been jailed for a brutal attack on a single mother in front of her terrified 11-year-old son.

Brandon Woodger punched the 45-year-old woman in the face and dragged her around her house by her hair before leaving her half naked and semi-conscious in the hallway.

A judge praised the courage of her son who was thrown across the room during the attack in Ilfracombe but got up and ran to a neighbour’s house to get help.



Jamal Proctor

A drug addict’s life turned into a tale of woe after his dog found his dealer’s cache of heroin hidden in a hedge.

Jamal Proctor dreamed of starting a new life by stealing the £25,000 worth of drugs and setting himself as a dealer 125 miles away in Devon.

His plan turned to disaster after the drugs were seized by police and he was tracked down and nearly killed by the dealers in a revenge knife attack.



Clockwise from top left - Joseph Westbury, Ian Cramp, Alan Hughes, Jordan Kaye and John Kirk
Clockwise from top left – Joseph Westbury, Ian Cramp, Alan Hughes, Jordan Kaye and John Kirk

A drugs gang which brought an estimated £300,000 worth of heroin and cocaine to Exeter and Plymouth have been jailed for a total of more than 15 years.

The organised crime group were based in Liverpool but operated under the street name of ‘Manc Joey’ and sent dealers on 21 different trips to Devon.

They were driven down by older men who were paid up to £1,000 a time to act as chauffeurs for groups of up to three young dealers.



Adrian Wills has been jailed
Adrian Wills has been jailed

A banned driver who went through villages at twice the speed limit during a 15-mile police chase has been jailed.

Adrian Wills tried to throw off the pursuing police cars by taking to narrow country roads near Chard but was stopped by a stinger device after rejoining the A30 and heading into Devon.

He drove through red traffic lights and on the wrong side of the road during a 23-minute pursuit, which only ended when police burst his tyres on a sliproad leading off the Honiton by-pass.

More stories by Paul Greaves



Benjamin Stone
Benjamin Stone

A child abuser has been jailed after his young victim became so tormented by her memories of abuse that she went to the police.

Benjamin Stone subjected the girl serious assaults when she was aged as young as six.

He threatened to harm her or her family if she told anyone and she remained too frightened to do so until she was older.



Claudiu Neconosctu
Claudiu Neconosctu

A burglar has been jailed after setting off alarms at a metals yard as he tried to drill through a roof of a store room.

Claudiu Neconosctu was caught red handed at the Newbery Metals yard in Newton Abbot.

He was part of a gang of four men who spent September 2019 touring Britain and carrying out similar raids on scrapyards as far apart as Devon, London and Cleveland.



Andrei Rautu attacked a woman near Cullompton Cricket Club

A takeaway worker has been jailed for a terrifying random attack on a lone woman who he followed across fields as she was walking her dog.

Andrei Rautu shadowed the 49-year-old through parkland near the Cullompton Cricket Club and pounced her on her from behind.

He put the fingers of both hands into her mouth to try to silence her and then dragged her to the ground. The attack happened at dusk and she feared he was trying to pull her into bushes nearby.

DECEMBER



Ben Draper, 30, from Torquay
Ben Draper, 30, from Torquay

A pair of homophobic and racist attackers have been jailed for a total of 19 years for a hate crime which left the victim with severe head injuries.

Ben Draper, who has previous convictions for racially aggravated crimes, used a social media app called Houseparty to broadcast some of the merciless assault in which he kicked Jakub Pawlowiec so hard in the face that one of his eyes was forced back into his skull.

He lured him to a backpackers’ hostel in Torquay after meeting him in the spa at a luxury hotel, claiming he was a male escort. But then he turned on him and shouted ‘Polish gay’ as he landed a flurry of kicks, stamps, and punches.



Anthony Moss
Anthony Moss

A disabled driver has been jailed after he used a stolen car to ram-raid the shutters of a filling station in the middle of the night..

Anthony Moss failed to get into the Shell Garage in Preston, Paignton, but caused £5,000 damage and was left with a cut on his nose from the impact.

He had earlier smashed his way into a nearby car showroom where he was found hiding on the forecourt with several sets of car keys in his pocket.



Liam Reynolds

A gloating thug who used his phone to make a video of his critically injured victim lying unconscious in the road has been jailed.

Liam Reynolds laid out Mark Viveash with a single punch which knocked him cold and caused permanent brain injuries which mean he can longer walk or talk and needs 24-hour care.

He knocked him down in the centre of Newton Abbot as revenge for an earlier incident in which Mr Viveash had tried to stop Reynolds and a gang of three teenaged friends from behaving anti-socially.



Jed Ogilvie

A suspected drink driver has been jailed after he almost drove into a policeman who was trying to stop him putting other road users in danger.

Jed Ogilvie was seen staggering and falling over as he and a couple of friends went from his car to a takeaway in the centre of Torquay on a Saturday afternoon.

A policeman who saw him getting into the driver’s seat approached the Peugeot but had to step back as it mounted the pavement twice during a bungled three-point turn.



Benjamin Mennell-Flisher has been jailed for 18 months

An angry son has been jailed for making ‘appalling’ threats against his own mother which left her so frightened that she fled her home.

Benjamin Mennell-Flisher blamed his mother Daisy Brown when a family court case went against him and bombarded her with messages saying he hoped she would die of cancer.

He told his sister he was on her way to her home in North Molton and Mrs Brown fled and took refuge with a friend. He went to the house and left a threatening note when he found it empty.



Alexander Boy has been jailed

A terrified Exeter woman was saved by police during a violent attacked by her boyfriend after dialling using a special code during a 999 call.

Emma Parkinson used a special facility on the 999 system to alert police without him realising what she was doing. She used the code 55 to indicate that she was in distress but unable to speak.

Her boyfriend Alexander Boy left her with bruises all over her face and head in the drunken assault at her flat in Exeter.



Daniel Gibbon has been jailed after hitting a prison officer and a fellow inmate with excrement

A former inmate has been sent back to jail for throwing a bucket full of human filth at a warder in a prison’s dining area.

Daniel Gibbon hurled the disgusting contents of the mop bucket so close to where his fellow inmates were queuing for food that one of them was hit by the foul-smelling ordure.

The attack came at Channings Wood Prison, near Newton Abbot, where all cells have their own toilets, meaning that the bucket had been specially prepared for the assault.



Robert Stubberfield

An ex-convict has been jailed for carrying out his second street attack in Exeter in the space of two years.

Robert Stubberfield was caught on CCTV after he led a group of men in a confrontation in South Street which ended with him kicking a helpless man on the pavement in South Street.

He was already on a suspended sentence for a similar attack in Sidwell Street in 2019 in which he hit a man who was prone on the pavement.



Damien Price
Damien Price

A road rage driver has been jailed after he deliberately mowed down a shopper and a policeman in a supermarket car park.

Damien Price sent both victims flying up to six feet through the air after he ran them down at speeds of up to 30mph in front of a crowd of horrified onlookers.

Price lost his temper with 63-year-old driver Richard McDermott after a minor stand-off in the Sainsbury’s car park in Pinhoe, Exeter, and got out of his car to attack him.



Jamie Wellaway
Jamie Wellaway

A drug dealer has thanked a Judge for his leniency after being jailed for only two months.

Jamie Wellaway was bullied into working for a Liverpool gang which supplied heroin and crack in Tiverton in 2017.

He was arrested when police raided a caravan at the Quantock Orchard holiday park at Crowcombe, near Taunton, alongside the leader of the drug ring Joseph Hales.



Dylan Walsh

A jealous boyfriend has been jailed for three drunken attacks which made her flee her home and seek shelter in the street.

Dylan Walsh throttled, punched and kicked the victim and hit her with an extension lead and a glass during the series of attacks at her flat in Totnes.

She had to leave the property on all three occasions to escape his violence and took refuge in the cab of a passing lorry during the last and most violent onslaught.



Alexander Duxbury-Watkinson

A cocaine dealer has been jailed for running a supply operation which he called The White Line.

Alexander Duxbury-Watkinson sold cocaine and cannabis on a large scale. The number of messages found on his phone was the most a drugs expert had ever seen.

He sold high quality drugs including cannabis packages in trendy glass phials and an ultra-strong version of the drug nicknamed Shatter because it looks like glass. He named his operation after Netflix shop White Lines starring Laurence Fox as a drug dealer.



Jeffrey Archer, 21
Jeffrey Archer, 21

A sleepover sex attacker has been jailed for assaulting two teenaged girls as he slept top and tail with them in single beds.

Jeffery Archer waited until the two girls fell asleep and either touched them or tried to have sex with them in two almost identical incidents a year apart.

He had assured both victims that he would not touch them but both woke to find he had moved behind them and was touching them with his penis or fingers.



Bradley Perkins has been jailed
Bradley Perkins has been jailed

A drug dealer that claimed a gang had threatened to attack him and who protected his £2,290 stash with an axe handle and a knife has been jailed.

Bradley Perkins was caught with cocaine, cannabis, £603 cash and drug messages on his phone when police intercepted a car he was using to make a late-night delivery.

He claimed he had been forced into drug dealing by a gang which threatened to break his legs and dump him naked on Dartmoor unless he did their bidding.



Gareth Weeks has been jailed for 15 years with a six year extended licence
Gareth Weeks has been jailed for 15 years with a six year extended licence

A stage manager who worked with major showbiz stars has been jailed for 15 years for having sex with a 14-year-old boy who he groomed on Grindr.

Gareth Weeks persuaded the boy to go to bed with him on only their second meeting and blindfolded him during a bondage sex session.

He repeated the assault a couple of weeks later and secretly filmed himself having sex with the boy on both occasions.



Ryan Munslow - also known as Burke - has been jailed for a year and nine months
Ryan Munslow – also known as Burke – has been jailed for a year and nine months

A drunken attacker has been jailed for punching and kicking an 89-year-old stranger during a random ‘explosion of anger’.

Ryan Munslow launched the unprovoked assault on the vulnerable pensioner who was taking a breather on a bench in Victoria Park, Paignton, on his way home from a shopping trip.

Munslow started shouting foul mouthed abuse at the victim and then laid into him with a flurry of blows that knocked him to the ground.



Cristian Olteanu

A member of an international gang of shoplifters has been jailed after he used a loyalty card during a £25,000 shoplifting spree at Superdrug stores all over the West Country.

Cristian Olteanu and his pregnant girlfriend Katalina Olaru travelled the country carrying out identical raids in which he put low value items into a shopping basket while she shoveled expensive cosmetics into her handbag.

He would pay for the contents of the basket while using a Superdrug loyalty card, while she would sneak out with up to £4,000 of makeup hidden in a bag which was lined with foil to defeat security tag systems.



Paul Ruth's police mugshot from 2018
Paul Ruth’s police mugshot from 2018

A former Royal Marine cadet instructor has been jailed for raping a young male recruit at an army camp in Cornwall almost 30 years ago.

Ex teacher Paul Ruth is already serving a long jail sentence for abusing boys in Plymouth and will now serve an extra two and a half years for this additional offence.

Ruth was in his 20s and an instructor with a cadet group in the city and committed the offence while supervising a trip to Penhale Camp in the early 1990s.



Thomas Graham changed his name to Daniel Luckman to conceal a history of sex offending
Thomas Graham changed his name to Daniel Luckman to conceal a history of sex offending

Child safety experts have called for better protection of children online after a dangerous sex offender groomed a 12-year-old-boy on social media.

The NSPCC has welcomed the jail sentence received by Thomas Graham, who tried to meet the boy in Exeter after showering him with £1,600 worth of gifts.

Graham also offered the boy £50 to send him naked pictures and bought him a secret phone so he could communicate with him without his parents knowing.



Tom Dwyer (left) and Brandon Murray has been jailed
Tom Dwyer (left) and Brandon Murray has been jailed

A pair of ‘cuckoo’ drug dealers have been jailed for taking over a woman’s home and using it as their distribution base.

Tom Dwyer and Brandon Murray were caught red handed when police raided the house in Paignton and found them in the middle of bagging up heroin and crack.

Dwyer tried to throw the drugs which he was handling down the toilet but was grabbed by police before he could do so.



Kyle Dunn
Kyle Dunn

A drug crazed son has been jailed for threatening to kill his mother with a knife which he had sharpened before his attack.

Kyle Dunn punched his mother Kellie and threw a chair at her through a glass door which she was sheltering behind during the terrifying incident at the family home in Tiverton.

He went into the kitchen and sharpened a large knife while telling his mother he was going to kill her. He then threw the knife into a sofa as she tried to flee.



Connor Wilbraham has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison

A drug dealer has been jailed for setting up a £300,000 county lines operation in Devon while he was on the run from the police.

Connor Wilbraham was still a teenager when started at the bottom rung of the drug-dealing ladder as a runner for a Liverpool gang but within two years he was masterminding his own operation.

He organised the network of couriers and street dealers in Exeter while he was on the run from the police after jumping bail in Wales in 2018.





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