Court reporting forms an important part of the UK’s open justice system, that justice can be seen to be done. To this end Bristol Live reports from the city’s crown court every week.
Some of the key benefits of open justice include ensuring public confidence and respect in democracy and the administration of justice. It is also said to deter people from committing crimes and thereby the details of those crimes becoming public knowledge.
Here are the criminals we reported on who have received the biggest prison sentences for drug offences in the last six months. You can read more about why we publish defendants’ names and addresses here.
Tobias Slender, Tekla Selassie, Adil Riaz, 32 years
A 20-year-old Bath man was sentenced for his role in assisting notorious drug baron Romaine Hyman.
Tekla Selassie was just 17 when he became Hyman’s apprentice, using the EncroChat handle “Youngtek” to supply drugs to the South West. He was sentenced to three years in a young offenders institution at Bristol Crown Court.
Selassie, formerly of Eastfield Avenue, had pleaded guilty to five offences including conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to launder money, possession of criminal property, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, and possession of cannabis. Read the full story here
Darnell Wright, Tyrese Douglas, Kamar Morgan, total 18 years
Three men who exploited vulnerable people in Bristol in a bid to sell Class A drugs have been jailed. The men took over a flat in Edward Street, St George, as drugs base – threatening to harm the resident’s dog if he declined access.
Connor Beer, seven years
A Bristol drug dealer caught by police running a drugs line to Weston-super-Mare was jailed for seven years.
Connor Beer pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply, after police tracked all the deals and transportation requests on his mobile phone.
Gabriel Coelho, four years and three months youth custody
A Kingswood teenager who admitted importing cocaine with a street value of some £80,000 from Brazil to the UK was sent to youth custody. Deliveroo driver Gabriel Coelho initially claimed he was bringing in jewellery, Bristol Crown Court heard.
He was rumbled after Border Force officials intercepted a consignment of car suspension arms at East Midlands Airport and found just under a kilo of the Class A drug secreted inside them. An operation led by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) then zeroed in on Coelho in Bristol and, thanks to a sneaky scientific move, he was brought to book.
Coelho, 19, of Courtney View, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the importation of a Class A drug in February. He also admitted stealing a mobile phone.
Judge Michael Longman handed him to four years and three months youth custody. He told Coelho: “It seems to me you performed a limited function under direction.” Read the full story here
Christopher White, 12 years
When a Hartcliffe man had more than £200,000 taken from him it came to the attention of police. And when they searched Christopher White’s home they found him with £651,000 worth of drugs, Bristol Crown Court heard.
As the search progressed police also found quantities of drugs cocaine and ketamine. White, 41, of Chelvey Close, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply the drugs and possessing criminal property.
Judge Euan Ambrose jailed him for 12 years. He told White: “Class A drug dealing causes enormous harm.” Read the full story here
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