Man and woman from Saffron Walden to be sentenced next month for part in drugs ring
PUBLISHED: 16:43 18 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:47 18 July 2016
A man and woman from Saffron Walden who were part of a cocaine supply ring along with nine others have been warned by a judge that prison sentences are “inevitable”.
Andrew Seaforth, 40, of Rylstone Way, and Joanne O’Brien, 27, also of Rylstone Way, were arrested in dawn drug raids last year, which were carried out by the Serious and Organised Crime Squad under Operation Protract.
Seaforth was the only one of 11 defendants to plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine, but was unanimously convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 12.
Judge Patricia Lynch QC, who adjourned sentencing for all 11 members of the gang until August 18, said: “Custodial sentences inevitably will flow from a conspiracy such as this.”
Claire Hollis, 29, of Farmer Close, Little Canfield, and Matthew Hunt, 31, of Windmill Close, Stansted Mountfitchet, were also among the 11 who will be sentenced.
David Matthew, prosecuting, told the jury during the Seaforth trial: “Andrew Seaforth was part of a network selling cocaine. There was a big police investigation which involved putting bugs in cars, phone investigations, undercover officers and seizures of drugs.”
Referring to the evidence against Seaforth, Mr Matthew added that financial investigations found large amounts of cash - £150,000 and £20,000 - had been paid into two bank accounts last year.
Others due to be sentenced are; Bradley Stantiford, 40, of Brewery Road, Hoddesdon, his partner Natalie Peirce, 31 of the same address, Louis Croke, 22, of Broomfield Avenue, Broxbourne, Jonathon Chilcott, 26, of High Street, Old Harlow, Stephen Till, 28, of The Briars, Harlow, Scott Webb, 29, of High Street, Harlow, and Claire Godden, 36, of Thorpe Terrace, Nordelph, Downham Market, Norfolk.