‘Ruth­less’ Flana­gan lived life of lux­ury

Macclesfield Express - - 3 PAGE SPECIAL REPORT -

KING­PIN Thomas Flana­gan was de­scribed as a ‘ruth­less’ drug dealer who lived a life of lux­ury on his ill-got­ten gains.

His busi­ness was run through a ‘graft’ phone which stored hun­dreds of num­bers of drug users who he ped­dled heroin and crack co­caine to.

Painter-dec­o­ra­tor Flana­gan bought the drug deal­ing busi­ness and ran it in partnership with his step­fa­ther John Ham­ble­ton.

But Prose­cu­tor Si­mon Parry de­scribed Flana­gan as ‘the first among equals’ who con­trolled the phone.

Dur­ing the week, he drove to Ham­ble­ton’s house on Sut­ton Close in an ex­pen­sive Landrover Free­lander. At 7am the phone would send out a ‘flare’ text mes­sage to ‘cus­tomers’ telling them it was open for busi­ness. The phone would stop run­ning at 5pm and never op­er­ated on week­ends.

By April 2015 Flana­gan’s army of drug deal­ers were sell­ing 20g of drugs per day and was serv­ing 199 cus­tomers.

The phone was also used in key com­mu­ni­ca­tions with his deal­ers, some of who were drug ad­dicts and were paid in drugs. Sen­tenc­ing, Judge Lang­dale said: “It was a well run and well or­gan­ised busi­ness em­pire. You were the main sup­plier of class A drugs in Mac­cles­field and made sig­nif­i­cant profit.

“You de­lib­er­ately ex­ploited drug users to act as deal­ers in a ‘hands off’ ap­proach. You were ruth­less by ex­ploit­ing these drug users.”

When police raided his home last Septem­ber they found £6,300 cash in a wardrobe.

Ac­cord­ing to his bank state­ments, Flana­gan had only earned £10,000 in two years, but through his drug em­pire he was able to run a Landrover and paid for two hol­i­days in May 2014 and May 2015, in­clud­ing a £1,625 break to the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, paid for in cash.

De­fend­ing Flana­gan, Maria Marcellus said his role as the leader of a gang of drug deal­ers was at odds with his fam­ily’s de­scrip­tion of him as a ‘model son, brother and part­ner’.

She said: “At the time he was due to marry his long term part­ner.

“He wanted to in­crease his abil­ity to save for his wed­ding, due to take place in May this year.

“Of course that is not go­ing to hap­pen.

“He stupidly be­lieved that as he was ‘hands off’ the drugs it would re­duce his chances of be­ing caught.

“His part­ner says she will stand by him and re­build the life they had planned when he is re­leased.”

Thomas Flana­gan on some of his lux­ury hol­i­days fi­nanced by drugs

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