The Scarborough News
Drugs gang leaders jailed
Group recruited children and peddled crack cocaine and heroin in the town
Ringleaders of a Scarborough drugs gang who used children to do their running have been jailed.
The three men who were involved in peddling heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of Scarborough and who plagued the Barrowcliff estate were sentenced to prison at York Crown Court.
Bradley Mark Taylor, 21, of no fixed address but previously of Prospect Crescent; Alfie Damien Bailey, 20, of Maple Drive; and Benjamin Freer, 25, of Seamer Road, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Taylor was jailed for four and a half years. Bailey, who also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine, MDMA and cannabis, was jailed for 42 months. Freer was sentenced to 43 months.
A fourth man, Kyle Blades
Wilkinson, of Colescliffe Road, also admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. He received a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Police said the group’s methods mirrored those used by so-called “county lines” drug dealers from out of the area, from recruiting children to do their running to advertising through a deal line.
But in this case, they targeted their home town, frequenting the Barrowcliff estate and selling to Scarborough drug users.
Their deal line, known as the “P” line, was operating in Scarborough using different numbers for different, slightly overlapping, periods throughout 2020.
The line was operated primarily by Taylor, although in August and September the line was manned by BladesWilkinson, and in October and November by Bailey.
Drugs including heroin and crack cocaine were regularly advertised for sale in Scarborough through mass text messaging.
Another man, Scott Simpson,
31, of Longwestgate, pleaded guilty to allowing the group to use his flat to deal the drugs. He received a two-year community order.
Det Con Darrel Temple, of Scarborough CID, said Taylor, Freer, Bailey and BladesWilkinson were “found to be exploiting young, impressionable males from the local area to conduct tasks such as topping up deal phones and acting as street runners,” he added.
“Taylor, Freer and Bailey were shown to be acting in a lead role in orchestrating the operation with Blades-Wilkinson in a role below them taking direction on the ground.
“The investigation shows that it is not only gangs from outside of Scarborough that prey on the weak and vulnerable by using their addiction to make money for themselves, but also those local to Scarborough.”
Conor Quinn, for Taylor, said his client started drugdealing after losing his job.
Richard Barradell, for Bailey, said his client had joined the conspiracy to pay for his own drug addiction.
Ian Whitehurst, for Freer, said the father-of-one, of Seamer Road, started dealing because he had lost his job and was in debt.
Graham Parkin, for BladesWilkinson, said his client was a “vulnerable, highly-suggestible” young man who had been “exploited” by others.
Fiona Clancy, for Simpson, said her client, who had mental-health issues, had been “intimidated” by the others.