Alan Gray jailed after forcing vulnerable Skelmersdale man to sell heroin and cocaine
A VIOLENT drug dealer who forced a vulnerable Skelmersdale man to sell heroin and cocaine was jailed for seven years.
Alan Gray and his gang told the man, who has physical and mental health problems, to sell drugs in Skelmersdale. They attacked him when he lost the takings.
The gang also threatened to "put a hole" in a friend of the victim if he did not make good the loss.
Jailing 24-year-old Gray the judge, Recorder Louise Blackwell, QC, said that while he did not inflict the violence he had orchestrated it and the victim "feared for his life."
It was also revealed that Gray was part of a Merseyside organised crime gang which planned to sell cocaine and heroin in West Lancashire.
Skelmersdale-based Sgt Tracey Robinson, of West Lancashire CID, said: “A significant amount of organised crime in West Lancashire comes from outside the county including Merseyside.
“The sentencing is proof that cross-border crooks involved in this type of criminality will be fully investigated and brought to justice.
“Gray came into Skelmersdale to carry out an assault and with a plan to use force and fear in an attempt to sell drugs – he will now spend a significant period in jail for these actions and attempts.”
Gray, of Cassia Close, Kensington, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to four charges of being concerned in supplying heroin and cocaine, blackmail and making a threat to kill.
Rowena Goode, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court on Monday that in late February this year the vulnerable man was rung by Gray about working for him.
He was driven to Walton Vale where he met Gray, whose face was covered with a mask, and another man, accompanied by a large dog.
He was given six packages of drugs and told to sell them for £600, keeping £100 of it for himself.
Miss Goode said: "During the transaction the man with the defendant opened his jacket, removed what appeared to be a Colt 45 handgun and said, 'We don't take no ***t from anyone',".
He was driven back to Skelmersdale and after being given instructions sold the drugs to customers in underpasses.
By March 6 the man had decided to terminate the agreement and use the proceeds of the latest sales to leave the area. He stopped answering this phone and went to stay that night with a friend, Barry Jenkins, in Evington, Skelmersdale.
The next morning he found the money had gone and when Gray and another man arrived at the flat he told them it was missing and was ordered to go downstairs to the communal area downstairs.
Another man then appeared and after demanding the money punched him in the face and when he tried to flee was rugby-tackled to the ground.
The victim managed to run to some nearby sheltered accommodation where a resident called the police. Officers arrived and found him "scared and in shock".
Later that day Mr Jenkins was phoned by Gray who said that as he had hidden the other man at his flat the loss of the money was his responsibility and if it was not sorted by 3pm he was "going to get it.":
Further calls followed threatening that Gray would burn down his flat and that of his ex-partner and brother. He was threatened they would "put a hole" in him and some of the calls were heard by a police officer.
The next day Gray phoned a friend of Mr Jenkins and told him to tell Jenkins that unless he handed over £500 " he would blow a hole in his chest".
Desmond Lennon, defending, said that Gray, who has previous convictions, had pleaded guilty and had written a letter of remorse.