Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Dealers Fail to Overturn Verdicts

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Dealers Fail to Overturn Verdicts

Article excerpt

Four men found guilty of plotting to supply drugs from a thriving Middlesbrough crack den have failed in their bid for freedom.

The quartet, including Middlesbrough man Derek Ridguard, 63, of Walpole Street, were all convicted at Teesside Crown Court in November last year of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Ridguard was jailed for four years, Paul Barrett, 26, of Hackney, received five-and-a-half years and Herbert Melburne Ivano Thompson, 37, of Margrove, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Kirk Wilson, 27, of Lewisham, escaped during the course of the trial and has never been recaptured.

Teesside Crown Court had heard how the town centre crack house had been visited by more than 100 people in just eight hours. But lawyers for the four men yesterday argued at the Court of Appeal in London that their convictions were unsafe.

Top judges heard that the fact Wilson, Barrett and Thompson were caught with large sums of cash on them should not have gone before a jury. …

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