Gang of Eden drug dealers who sold cannabis to schoolchildren sentenced (From The Westmorland Gazette)
When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Gang of Eden drug dealers who sold cannabis to schoolchildren sentenced
12:47pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
A GANG of drug dealers led by a 15-year-old Eden boy has been sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.
The six sold cannabis to schoolchildren and adults over a one year period between November 2011 and December 2012.
Amy Katapodis, 25, of Main Street, Brough; Jon Harris, 24, of Castle View, Penrith; Steven Bell, 19, of Castletown Drive, Penrith; Harry Phillips, 17, of Clifford Court, Penrith; George Horne, 17, of Carleton Drive, Penrith; and Steven Strange, of Broughton Street, Penrith all admitted conspiracy to supply a controlled drug.
The court heard that Strange was the hub of the operation with the others buying from or selling to him.
The dealers were caught after Strange sold a bag of cannabis to another schoolboy who took it to school. Teachers contacted the police who traced the deal to Strange and began analysing his text messages.
In mitigation the court heard Strange had only turned to dealing drugs when he could no longer afford to buy them; Katapodis had been estranged from her family at the time but was now a very different person holding down three jobs. Bell was said to have turned to drug dealing to help his family who had financial problems at the time; Harris has a young family and only supplied drugs to Strange; Horne was said to have only been involved for a few weeks and his poor behaviour was a result of returning to live in the UK after being in Spain for three years; Phillips had only supplied to friends his own age and known cannabis users.
Sentencing the six, Recorder Ainsworth told them that despite their guilty pleas, the hearing would affect the rest of their lives. He was critical of Harris and Katapodis as adults who sold to children but said all of the defendants were involved in a significant role.
Katapodis wept as she was jailed for ten months. Harris was sent to prison for 12 months.
Bell was ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work, Horne was given a nine-month youth rehabilitation order and a two-month curfew and Strange and Phillips both given twelve-month youth rehabilitation orders and three-month curfews.