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Drug dealer captured and imprisoned after fleeing the country
Liam Johnson, 33, a major Liverpool drug dealer, was finally brought before the judge who jailed him in his absence in December 2012. Johnson was one of the main players behind a Sefton-based conspiracy to flood the city with cocaine.
He was arrested while in a taxi in Southport, after returning to the UK on a false passport. He pleaded guilty to jumping bail and fraudulently applying for a passport to make his escape. In addition to the 11 years and one month sentence he was already facing, an additional 6 month sentence for the 2 other offences was added.
Police seized his real passport in March, 2012, when they raided his house on Margaret Avenue, Bootle, but he illegally applied for a new one and was able to both leave and return to the country under his own name with his fugitive status unquestioned.
Mr Simon Driver, defending, said Johnson only returned to the UK to hand himself in, adding: "He wanted to put certain domestic arrangements in order but before he could do so he was arrested by the police." However, the claim had to be dropped as it could not be substantiated.
Johnson is due back at Liverpool Crown Court on August 22 to face a fresh drugs conspiracy charge alongside ten others.
Original News Article: Liverpool Echo
Carer who stole from pensioner jailed for 3 years
Lynne Bowe, 51 from Carlisle denied stealing jewellery from pensioner Yvonne Varah, but was found guilty by a jury at Carlisle Crown Court.
Bowe had been Miss Varah’s carer for 8 years. The theft was discovered when Miss Varah was moved to a residential home and her sister in law noticed the once full jewellery box was empty while clearing out Miss Varah’s house.
Bowe had argued that 3 of the stolen rings were her own property and one had been a gift from Miss Varah. However, Mr Neville Biddle, prosecuting, said ‘You have been caught red-handed in possession of items that you have taken from Yvonne Varah. You are simply not telling the truth.”
The jury took only an hour to return a unanimous guilty verdict. Bowe had a previous conviction in September 2012 for stealing from an 83 year old woman she also cared for.
Original News Article: Cumberland News
Hostel fire doors found padlocked during blaze
Firefighters discovered this potentially fatal blunder as they battled the blaze at the Norfolk Hotel, in Sunderland. The premises are used as a hostel for men with drug and alcohol problems.
Andrew Chomko, 55, the duty manager at the premises, pleaded guilty to three breaches of fire safety regulations at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court. Hostel licensee Manjeet Lally 47, admitted six charges and general manager Surkhjit, her husband, also 47, pleaded guilty to four charges.
Fire crews were called to the 37-resident hostel on Sunday, November 18, after a fire broke out in a bedroom; they discovered that the fire exit nearest to the room on fire was padlocked.
Jason Smith defending Mr Chomko said he had lost his home and his job after the Lallys gave up the hostel, following the prosecution. “He takes full responsibility for his own actions and has done so throughout. He had become frustrated by a number of residents in the property and their nocturnal activities, and had tried to find a number of ways to secure that door which would still allow it to be used effectively for escape’.
Mr Chomko was fined £180 and ordered to pay £85 in costs. The Lallys were each fined £3,350, plus £1,913.13 costs.
Original News Article: Sunderland Echo