Two men and two women from Uttlesford to be sentenced for part in drugs ring

PUBLISHED: 17:18 18 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:23 18 July 2016

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Two men and two women from Uttlesford who were part of a cocaine supply ring along with seven others have been warned by a judge that prison sentences are “inevitable”.

Claire Hollis, 29, of Farmer Close, Little Canfield, Matthew Hunt, 31, of Windmill Close, Stansted Mountfitchet, Andrew Seaforth, 40, of Rylstone Way, Saffron Walden, and Joanne O’Brien, 27, also of Rylstone Way, Saffron Walden, were arrested in dawn drug raids last year.

The raids were carried out by the Serious and Organised Crime Squad under Operation Protract and ten of the 11 gang members pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Seaforth was the only one to plead not guilty to the charges, but was unanimously convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 12.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC, who adjourned sentencing for all 11 members of the gang until August 18, said: “Custodial sentences inevitably will flow from a conspiracy such as this.”

David Matthew, prosecuting, told the jury during the Seaforth trial: “Andrew Seaforth was part of a network selling cocaine. There was a big police investigation which involved putting bugs in cars, phone investigations, undercover officers and seizures of drugs.”

Referring to the evidence against Seaforth, Mr Matthew added that financial investigations found large amounts of cash - £150,000 and £20,000 - had been paid into two bank accounts last year.

Others due to be sentenced are; Bradley Stantiford, 40, of Brewery Road, Hoddesdon, his partner Natalie Peirce, 31 of the same address, Louis Croke, 22, of Broomfield Avenue, Broxbourne, Jonathon Chilcott, 26, of High Street, Old Harlow, Stephen Till, 28, of The Briars, Harlow, Scott Webb, 29, of High Street, Harlow, and Claire Godden, 36, of Thorpe Terrace, Nordelph, Downham Market, Norfolk.

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