Two years after Northamptonshire Police launched a major operation to dismantle Corby’s major drugs houses and put a stop to the activities of all the key players involved, six people were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, Thursday.
Gilbert Stirling, 36, of Eastbrook, Corby, was given a four-and–a-half year sentence for conspiracy to supply cannabis, and an additional two years for money laundering.
Scott Stirling, 33, also of Eastbrook, Corby, was given a three-year sentence for conspiracy to supply cannabis and an additional year for money laundering.
Robert Beaton, 31, was given a two-year sentence for conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Patricia Stirling, 54, Alec Shephard, 34, Lee Duffy, 36, and Jason Strachan, 35, were all given lesser sentences, three for conspiracy to supply cannabis and one for money laundering.
Yesterday’s sentencing was the culmination of two periods of intense police activity in Corby and months of investigative work. The first tranche took place in October 2010 when 17 search warrants were executed, 15 people were arrested, resulting in a total of 20 years of prison sentences being meted out.
Sixteen months later the second wave of activity took place, with 90 officers swooping in to the Eastbrook area of Corby, resulting in the swift arrest of eight people thought to be behind Corby’s last remaining large-scale drugs house.
Detective Inspector Lorraine Gordon, who led the investigation, said: “I’m delighted with yesterday’s result. Gilbert Stirling, his brother Scott Stirling and Robert Beaton, were the main players in what was a highly sophisticated drug dealing operation.
“The fact that these men are now behind bars is a positive outcome for those who lived in the Eastbrook area of Corby and had their lives blighted by the disruption that large-scale drug dealing brings to a community.
“This law enforcement also sends out a very clear message to others who think they can undermine policing efforts.”
As he handed out the sentences, Judge Bray commented that the house in Eastbrook was clearly developed and used as a retail shop for drugs.
He went on to say: “You all showed a complete contempt towards the police, the law and the local community.
“In addition you (Gilbert Stirling) set up a system of money laundering.”