A judge has jailed four men who were arrested following an undercover police operation targeting drug suppliers in Kirklees.

Judge Tom Bayliss heard the cases separately at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, sentencing Derron Paul, 42, to four years in jail after he admitted 13 offences of supplying crack cocaine and one of supplying heroin between November 13 and December 9 last year.

John Bull, prosecuting, said Paul often met the officers near a bookmakers in Bradford Road, Huddersfield, after they placed orders over a “ring and bring drug line.”

Carl Kingsley, representing Paul of Sheepridge Road, Sheepridge, said he had become addicted to the gaming machines in the bookmakers, particularly the roulette when he was out of work.

He had poured money into the machine and foolishly when he was offered a small sum for delivering drugs agreed to do so, spending the money he received on the same machine.

He realised that was doing him no good and had stopped his involvement after December and was surprised when arrests were made in June under Operation Overwood.

The court heard Paul, the holder of a Jamaican passport, was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK in 2004 but was now facing the risk of deportation.

Jailing him Judge Bayliss said because of the seriousness of the criminality he should be deported.

“You incurred debts as the result of gambling and were in financial difficulties, you turned to supplying these drugs to ameliorate your position,” said the judge. “You were not under any pressure.”

Mark Jepson, 32, of Melrose Close, Dalton, was jailed for three years after admitting 10 charges of supplying heroin between November 27 last year and January 17 this year.

Mr Bull said on the first occasion the undercover officers met Jepson another drug user had offered to phone a dealer for them and it was Jepson who turned up as a passenger in a car to hand over the heroin.

Mark Jepson, 32, of Melrose Close, Dalton, was jailed for three years
Mark Jepson, 32, of Melrose Close, Dalton, was jailed for three years
 

On a later date one of the officers got into the same car when it turned up and saw Jepson had five or six wraps inside a Kinder egg.

Mr Kingsley told the court for Jepson he was in debt to drug dealers and was put under considerable pressure to deliver for them.

He was attacked and stabbed in a nightclub when he indicated he wanted to stop doing that and was lucky to survive.

“He had no influence on those above him,” said Mr Kingsley.

Sentencing Jepson the judge said his position was aggravated because at the time he was subject to a community order for unrelated matters. He accepted there was pressure and violence to commit the offences but such dealing could not be overlooked.

Clive Salmon, 43, a mobile barber, of Bunny Park, Lockwood, was jailed for two years after he admitted one charge of supplying crack cocaine in February.

Yunus Valli representing him said he was a hardworking man who naïvely agreed on that one isolated occasion to hand over the drug to pay off a £50 debt.

Jason Webster, 21 of Mitchell Avenue, Waterloo, was sentenced to 16 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to five charges of supplying crack cocaine and heroin.

Michael Sisson Pell representing him said he too had been put under pressure and was stabbed in the leg when he tried to resist those who gave him the drug to deliver.

It was only when an uncle with more influence in the community contacted those people that he was able to stop delivering for them.

He was a young man who helped to care for his mother since she suffered a stroke and also looked after other relatives who would find it extremely difficult if he was locked up.

Judge Bayliss said he accepted Webster had been subjected to some exploitation and pressure but there had to be a jail term for such offences “to bring it home to you and others.”

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