Drug dealers who were exposed when disgruntled residents put up fake street signs have been jailed.
The east London residents commissioned artists to create “drug dealers only” parking spaces and “crack pickup” points last September, sparking a police investigation.
A total of 23 men have now been prosecuted over the drugs trade.
Three were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday and four on Friday.
Judge Gerard Pounder told the court on Friday: “All this came to light because of residents in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
“They were finding life very difficult. They had a number of people coming into their area who were taking drugs, leaving needles, threatening other people including those taking their children to school.”
‘Dealing near children’
Jonathan Shepherd, from the CPS, said on Monday: “Dealing drugs such as heroin can have devastating consequences for vulnerable people and communities.
“These defendants showed little consideration for those around them – often openly dealing drugs in the day in front of young children and encouraging aggressive drug users to loiter in the area.
“The different phone lines represented a co-ordinated effort between various drugs operations to work together to deal dangerous drugs, in effect blighting the local community to such an extent that they felt they had to take action.”
The Weavers Community Action Group, which was created to tackle the problem of drug dealing in the area, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The immediate response we saw from the police and council following our effective street art campaign was very impressive.”
Monday saw the sentencing of Dilraj Miah, 29, from Spitalfields, who was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs; as well as Kevin Tighe, 49, from Bethnal Green, and Kenneth Gratton, 56, from Bow, who were both sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years, for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs; and Craig Furlong, 31, from Bethnal Green, who had his sentencing deferred for six months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
On Friday, Julian Haynes, 33, and Luke Gratton, 30, both from Bethnal Green, were jailed for four years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Brendan Vickers, 26, also from Bethnal Green, and Rukon Ahmed, 29, from Forest Gate, were both sentenced to three years in prison, having both admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and two counts of possessing a controlled Class A drug with intent.
A 17-year-old girl was killed in a “terrible and cowardly” stabbing during a drug turf war, a court has heard.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back while playing music and smoking cannabis with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London, on 1 March.
She may not have been the intended target of the attack, the prosecution told the Old Bailey jury.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, both from Romford, and two boys, aged 16 and 17, deny murder.
The jury was told two people came out of the dark in the park and the taller of them swung his right arm at Jodie’s back.
She suffered a deep wound to her back and was left bleeding heavily as her attackers disappeared seconds later.
Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle, 18, caught her as she fell and eased her to the ground, crying and screaming at Jodie to stay awake while holding her hand.
But by the time an ambulance arrived, Jodie showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead en-route to hospital.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors none of Jodie’s friends had any idea who was responsible for the “terrible and cowardly” attack.
Jurors were told the four defendants were involved in the supply of drugs and one or more of Jodie’s friends had bought cannabis from those accused in the past.
“There is, however, nothing to suggest that Jodie was involved in the supply of drugs or that she might have upset anyone,” Mr Aylett said.
The prosecution suggested “Jodie is unlikely to have been the intended target; more likely is that the intended target was somebody else altogether.”
Following national publicity, police got a breakthrough when a witness reported two males getting into a stationary black Vauxhall Corsa.
Mr Aylett said Jodie’s murder might have gone unsolved if not for the chance sighting.
A couple of hours after the killing, a black Corsa registered to Mr Petrovic was found abandoned about two miles away, he said.
Following his arrest, Mr Petrovic, of Highfield Road, Romford, east London, admitted driving to Harold Hill with a friend and two others who had gone into the park to collect money and drugs.
He denied knowing the pair were armed beforehand, the court heard.
Mr Aylett said: “If the prosecution are right in saying that Jodie Chesney was an entirely blameless individual who got caught up in some quarrel between drug dealers then her murder was the terrible but predictable consequence of an all-too casual approach to the carrying and using of knives.”
The trial continues.