Drug dealers get swift justice

LITTLE over a week ago Clive Hutson was dealing death on the street by peddling heroin in Felixstowe.Today the 44-year-old is beginning a five-year prison term courtesy of being fast-tracked through the judicial system.

LITTLE over a week ago Clive Hutson was dealing death on the street by peddling heroin in Felixstowe.

Today the 44-year-old is beginning a five-year prison term courtesy of being fast-tracked through the judicial system.

Hutson and fellow dealers Paul Cunnington and Heidi Baxter all pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to conspiring to supply class A drugs between July 7 and August 4 this year.

Hutson, of St Mary's Close, Trimley, admitted possessing 27.4 grams of heroin with the street value of between £2,800 and £4,200.


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He told the court he had given Cunnington, 32, of The Walk, Felixstowe, and Baxter, 39, of The Walk, Felixstowe free heroin to drive him around Felixstowe so he could supply drugs.

Hutson also admitted assaulting the arresting police officer Mark Hedges on August 4 by hitting him in the face.

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Ian Persuad, mitigating for Hutson, said: “He has specifically asked me to let you know he is the main culprit. He led them astray and if not for him they might not be in the trouble they are in today.”

The court heard that Hutson had been a heroin addict for 20 years and supplied drugs to fund his habit and frugal lifestyle.

Mr Persuad, said his client made enough money to support himself without working or receiving benefits.

John Fenn, prosecuting said police who had been carrying out a surveillance operation on Hutson stopped a vehicle in Felixstowe on July 8 and the three defendants who were inside were searched for drugs.

He said: “Mr Hutson and Heidi Baxter had nothing on them but Cunnington had £1,600 cash on him and a relatively small quantity of heroin was found in the vicinity”.

Last week in Grange Road, Felixstowe, police stopped a different vehicle containing all three of the defendants.

Mr Fenn said: “They were arrested and taken into custody, a search was negative. They were taken to Ipswich Hospital for further intimate searches and x-rays.”

The court heard that no drugs were found on the defendants but a clingfilm wrap found on the floor of the police van contained more than an ounce of 30 per cent pure heroin.

Hutson admitted the drugs were his and said they had been hidden within his body when the initial search was carried out. The court heard that all three defendants had previous convictions.

Roger Stewart mitigating for Cunnington and Baxter, said his clients' involvement in the conspiracy only amounted to driving Hutson around Felixstowe so he could deliver drugs and in return their drug habits were fed.

Judge John Devaux said the defendants would get full credit for entering guilty pleas at the preliminary hearing which prevented the expense of further court hearings.

Hutson was sentenced to five years in prison plus an extra two months for the assault. Cunnington was jailed for 27 months plus 43 weeks. The remaining unexpired licence for a former prison sentence for robbery at Alldays in Walton High Street, Felixstowe in 2002.

Baxter, the mother of a 16 and 17-year-old was jailed for 21 months including a concurrent one-month sentence for breaching a conditional discharge for obtaining property by deception.

N Do you think fast-track justice is a good or a bad thing? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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