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NWROCU welcome sentencing of five men to 34 years 10 months in prison following drug supply trial

News   •   May 10, 2019 16:19 BST

Drugs seized during operation

Detectives from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) are welcoming the sentencing of five men to a total of 34 years, 10 months in prison following a drug supply trial at Liverpool Crown Court which ended today, Friday 10 May 2019.

The group supplied drugs from Merseyside to South Wales between January and August 2018 and were apprehended following an extensive investigation.

  • 36-year-old Paul Hickman of Barchester Drive, Aigburth was convicted at court of conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to 12 years in prison today (consecutive to five years, three months received last year for firearms offences)
  • 29-year-old Joseph Jones of Aldwark Road, Dovecot pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to eight years in prison today
  • 22-year-old Luke Donoghue of NFA pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and previously received three years in prison at Swansea Crown Court
  • 47-year-old Wayne Fanning of Prospect Vale, Tuebrook pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine and previously received six years imprisonment at Swansea Crown Court
  • 60-year-old Paul Kinsey of St Clears Place, Penlan, Swansea pleaded guilty to possession with intent to Supply Class A controlled drugs and was previously sentenced to five years and 10 months in custody

The investigation was carried out in relation to the criminal activities of a group run by Paul Hickman and associates, who distributed high purity cocaine and heroin from Merseyside to South Wales and other areas of the UK over the course of several months in 2018.

Hickman and his second-in-command Joseph Jones arranged distribution through a network of couriers. Jones was arrested last May in North Wales with a quarter of a kilo of high purity cocaine and half a kilo of Benzocaine.

Hickman was arrested in June 2018 following a pursuit by armed police in Roby, during which he overturned his car.

Couriers Donoghue, Fanning and Kinsey were sentenced previously after admitting their involvement in the distribution of drugs.

NWROCU Detective Inspector Nick Hughes said: “Hickman and Jones were extensively involved in the large-scale supply and distribution of drugs and Hickman especially flaunted these ill-gotten gains through the use of expensive cars and property. Their activities affected communities in England and Wales and we are pleased that everyone involved has been removed from the streets for the foreseeable future.

“Working alongside all of our regional forces and partners, the NWROCU will continue to proactively tackle criminal gangs who think nothing of flooding the streets with dangerous drugs in order to profit from other people's misery.

“We rely on our communities to tell police when there are criminal issues in their area so that we can take positive action and protect our communities. Any information supplied to us in relation to serious and organised crime will be acted upon."

Anyone with information about those involved in serious and organised crime, including the supply of controlled drugs and use of firearms, can contact their local force or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”