Sec­ond-in-com­mand was ‘well thought of’

Macclesfield Express - - DRUG DEALERS SENTENCED -

JOHN Ham­ble­ton’s role as sec­ond-in-com­mand of a drug deal­ing em­pire was at odds with his im­age as a ‘well thought of’ crown green bowls player.

Ham­ble­ton, 48, was brought on board by his step-son Flana­gan to help run the ‘graft phone’ from his home on Sut­ton Close.

He de­scribed a ‘volatile’ re­la­tion­ship with Flana­gan who paid him £60 ev­ery time he used his house.

Ham­ble­ton topped up the phone with credit and col­lected cash from deal­ers McGuire and Green and the courier Hunter.

When police raided his house last Septem­ber they found 66.8g of heroin with a street value of £8,000.

De­spite hav­ing no le­git­i­mate in­come Ham­ble­ton ran a Nis­san xTrail. Police found £10,000 in un­ex­plained cred­its to his bank ac­count and £12,000 ac­tiv­ity on his on­line gam­bling ac­count.

Si­mon Mills, de­fend­ing, said: “He has in­volved him­self in class A drugs and paid the price for that. He played a sig­nif­i­cant role, but was not the leader. He was paid sig­nif­i­cant sums by Flana­gan to use his premises.

“He had a gam­bling ad­dic­tion and had fallen prey to get easy money from drugs.

“He was well thought of at his crown green bowl­ing club and suf­fered sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal dis­tress while he was on re­mand be­cause his mother died of cancer. He then missed the fu­neral be­cause the prison van was stuck in traf­fic.”

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