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Jailed: Hackney gang members who took over homes of addicts to run drug dealing operation in Essex

PUBLISHED: 18:01 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:01 21 December 2017

Courtney Kirby-Diamond posing with cash and a balloon in a picture found on a mobile phone. Picture: Essex Police

Courtney Kirby-Diamond posing with cash and a balloon in a picture found on a mobile phone. Picture: Essex Police

Archant

A gang who take over the homes of addicts in an Essex town to deal crack and heroin have been jailed for more than 40 years.

Shaheur Rahman. Picture: Essex Police Shaheur Rahman. Picture: Essex Police

The Jay Boys ran a “county lines” operation in Clacton supplying the class A drugs over three years, during which they enjoyed posing for pictures with wads of cash and gold-plated champagne bottles.

But their “glamorous” lifestyle has now come to an abrupt end. Ringleader Courtney Kirby-Diamond, 26, of Queensbridge Road was jailed for 11 years.

Two other members were also from Hackney; Alfie Lawrence-Summers, 19, of Chatsworth Road, who was jailed for three years and Shaheur Rahman, 24, of Bentham Road, who was jailed for five years and 10 months.

They and five others from Tottenham, Leytonstone and Clacton were sentenced today after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Alfie Summers. Picture: Essex Police Alfie Summers. Picture: Essex Police

During the trial, the court heard how the gang came to the attention of Essex Police in 2014 after a series of violent crimes in Clacton, including the robbery of a number of rival drug dealers.

They had targeted vulnerable addicts and taken over their homes to use as drug dealing bases in a practice known as “cukoooing”. They were bringing in £2,000 to £3,000 a day transporting the drugs from London and getting locals to sell them.

After a three-year probe, cops raided the home of one of the gang in Clacton in early 2016 and found cash, machetes and knives.

Jurors heard from a former member of the Jay Boys who told how he was recruited on Facebook. He told the court how he was paid £100 each day to deliver crack and heroin.

Tunji Owati posing with cash in a picture found on a mobile phone. Picture: Essex Police Tunji Owati posing with cash in a picture found on a mobile phone. Picture: Essex Police

After today’s sentencing Pc James Pamment of drugs squad Operation Raptor said: “This gang, and those like them, prey on our communities, exploiting the vulnerable and using violence to sell drugs on our streets.

“As long as criminals like the Jay Boys continue to attempt to sell drugs in Essex, we will continue to hunt them down. And, whether it takes three weeks or three years, we will leave no stone unturned to bring them to justice.”

Ch Supt Paul Wells of Essex Police said: “Today’s sentencings show the reality of the gang lifestyle.

“You will be exploited. You will be the victim or perpetrator of violence. You will live life on the edge wondering whether a rival dealer or police officer will come for you first.

“Any money you make, or glamour that you think your lifestyle might have, will be short-lived and it’s only a matter of time before you end up behind bars just like the Jay Boys.”

Tunji Owati, 27, of Tottenham was jailed for seven years, Baron Or, 27, also of Tottenham was locked up for five years, Troy Henderson-Ryan of Clacton got three years and three months, Steven Root, 45, also of Clacton, was sentenced to two years and six months and Tommy Burnett, 21, of Leytonstone, got three years and six months.

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