November 13, 2019 1.50 pm This story is over 50 months old

“Bit part player” jailed for driving heroin dealer to Skegness four times

The “head of operations” will be sentenced on Friday

A man who drove a heroin dealer from Leicester to Skegness on four occasions was jailed for 15 months on Wednesday.

John Flannery, 58, was caught during a police investigation in to the sale of Class A drugs on the streets of the resort.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Flannery was used as a driver by Paul Steven Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, 41, was described as the “head of operations” for a conspiracy supplying heroin from Leicester to Skegness in the summer of 2017.

Officers carried out test purchases of the Class A drug over several months that summer after targeting street dealers in the resort.

This gang of drug dealers have been jailed.

Police identified 33 trips to collect drugs from Leicester and supply it to the streets of Skegness.

Flannery, 58, of King Street, Great Yarmouth, admitted a charge of conspiracy after driving Wilkinson to Leicester on four occasions.

Andrew Peat, prosecuting, said the heroin was then passed on to Skegness street dealers.

Mr Peat told the court: “Mr Flannery was one of three drivers or people who supplied the vehicles for Wilkinson to drive to Leicester.”

The court heard Flannery and Wilkinson were stopped by police in the Nottingham area on their final trip but no drugs were found.

During interview Flannery said he believed the trips were to buy caravans or cars.

The heroin supplied from Leicester was of a relatively modest strength with a purity of between 9% and 16%.

John McNally, mitigating, said Flannery was very much a “bit part player” in the conspiracy and was involved in just four trips.

Following his arrest Flannery took himself out of the Skegness area and has been in bad health, Mr McNally added.

Earlier this month, six other people were jailed for a total of over 21 years for their roles in the conspiracy.

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC said the citizens of Skegness had been “plagued” by open street dealing of Class A drugs.

Wilkinson, of Hudson Way, Skegness, will be sentenced for his role on Friday.