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10K cash seized after drugs farm busted

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Officers have arrested two men after drugs warrants were executed in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent.

The warrants were carried out simultaneously in High Street, Cheadle, and Creswell Road, Hanley, at around 7.30pm on Friday 10 January.

A cannabis factory of around 60 large plants and a ‘cannabis nursery’ containing approximately 208 smaller plants was discovered at the address in Cheadle.

Officers were accompanied on the operation by colleagues from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who seized a vehicle from the premises due to it being run on red diesel.

A large amount of cash (in excess of £10,000) was seized from the address in Hanley as it is suspected to have been obtained through the proceeds of crime.

HMRC officers also seized a large quantity of red diesel at this address.

Two men from Hanley, aged 38 and 39, were arrested at the Cheadle address on suspicion of being concerned in the cultivation and supply of cannabis and also for abstracting electricity. They were released on bail, pending further inquiries, to a date in March.

PC Dave Stubbs, investigating officer, said: “These warrants formed part of the force’s on-going Operation Nemesis campaign which aims to crackdown on drug dealers. Officers based at Cheadle were supported by officers from the Special Constabulary, colleagues from the Dog Support Unit and Tactical Support Team on the night.

“This action has been taken as a direct result of information received from the local community and our partner agencies. Our message to drug dealers and criminals is simple – we are not going away and will continue working with partners to rid communities of the scourge of drug dealing and the negative affect it has on neighbourhoods and families.

“Cheadle is one of the safest areas in the country to live and my colleagues and I are determined to ensure it stays that way. The local community has been telling us that they want us to take robust and positive action against those who are involved in the production and supply of drugs and the anti-social behaviour and the other criminality it attracts.”

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Dangerous prisoner fails to return after attending family funeral

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Police are appealing for help in tracing a Hollesley Bay prisoner who has absconded.

34-year-old Aaron Johnson was reported missing to police at 11.15pm  last night, Friday 17 August,.

Johnson had been granted a special purpose temporary licence to attend a funeral yesterday but failed to return to the prison as arranged. He was last seen in West London.

Johnson is serving a 9 year sentence for robbery, wounding and assault.

He is described as black, 6 feet tall, of medium build, and had a beard. He was wearing a black jacket,  blue jeans, white t-shirt and trainers.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him.

Anyone who believes they may have seen Aaron Johnson or who has any information regarding his whereabouts, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 480 of 17 August.

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Scott Findlay subjected young mother to harrowing sex attack & punched her while she cradled 6-week-old baby

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A MAN who raped a young mother and repeatedly punched her as she cradled a six-week-old baby in her arms has been jailed.

Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a “prolonged and harrowing” attack in front of her two young children.

Today, at York Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey sent the 27-year-old, from Ferryhill, in County Durham, to prison for 15 years for offences including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill.

The court heard that the victim pleaded with Findlay, who was armed with a kitchen knife, for her children to be prevented from seeing the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Katrina Meisuria, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, praised the victim for her courage in giving evidence.

She said: “Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a prolonged, harrowing and violent attack in front of her two young children.

“It took great bravery by the victim to provide evidence at court reliving those events again.

“There is no doubt these crimes have had a life-changing effect on the victim and her children, but the conviction will provide the family with the opportunity to move forward”.

In a statement released through the police, the victim said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me and my family.

“The incidents occurred only six weeks after the birth of my daughter who was in my arms as Scott Finlay repeatedly punched me about the head and my seven-year-old looked on in terror begging for him to stop hurting his mammy.

“No child should ever have to witness such an attack”.

She added: “My family and I are pleased with the outcome and relieved it is finally over and we can move forward to rebuilding our life”.

After a four-day trial at Durham Crown Court in May, a jury found Findlay guilty of three counts of rape, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of making threats to kill.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

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Man attacked staff with a traffic cone at petrol station

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Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted with a traffic cone at a petrol station in Newcastle.

At around 12.05pm on Monday afternoon police received a report that a staff member at the Shell garage on the Great North Road in Gosforth had been assaulted with a traffic cone.

The male offender had filled up a motorcycle with fuel but was challenged by staff when it appeared that he would not pay for the fuel.

He became aggressive and then assaulted the staff member with a traffic cone before fleeing the scene on foot in the direction of The Three Mile Inn.

The victim of the assault was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and cheekbone. It is also believed the motorcycle the offender left at the garage was stolen.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police are now appealing for help from the public to identify the offender.

He is described as wearing all black with a white motorcycle helmet that had the visor down.

Officers also want to speak to any witnesses to the incident as there were a number of people on the garage forecourt who police have still not spoken to.

They are also keen to speak to any motorists who may have dash-cam footage showing the motorcycle in question.

Anyone who knows the man, or witnessed the incident on Monday, is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 423 13/08/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also email the OIC on [email protected] or report online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.

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