Man jailed for seven years after taking over vulnerable man's Northampton home to sell drugs

Officers found the perpetrator with heroin, crack cocaine, Class B pills, a knife and almost £600 in cash

Friday, 21st May 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 5:20 pm

A man who took over a vulnerable man's home in Northampton to sell drugs from it, has been jailed for seven years.

Brett James Franks, 46, of no fixed address, was arrested on January 6 this year after a man contacted police claiming Franks had taken over his home to sell Class A drugs from the property - a practice known as 'cuckooing'.

According to police, the victim said this was "ruining his life" and had been going on for months.

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Brett James Franks

Officers immediately rushed to the man's property where they found Franks in possession of heroin, crack cocaine, a quantity of Class B pills, a knife and almost £600 in cash.

Franks was arrested and charged with four offences relating to drug dealing and appeared in Northampton Crown Court on Monday (May 17) where he pleaded guilty to all charges.

Franks was sentenced to seven years in jail for the charge of possession of heroin with intent to supply. He was given another seven years for the charge of crack cocaine with intent to supply to be served concurrently.

He was given a further nine months to be served concurrently for the charge of acquiring/use/possession of criminal property relating to the £588.52 seized by officers from the victim's home.

An order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs as well as the mobile phone and knife seized from the property.

The £588.52 was forfeited and will be donated to a Wellingborough charity designated by the court called Service Six.

Franks was additionally ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

Investigating officer PC Sean Whelan, of the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It’s very satisfying to see that Brett Franks has admitted to his criminal activity and his significant sentence reflects the seriousness of his offending.

“The man whose home he had taken over came to us in a state of real fear, having been forced to allow Franks into his house and made to endure him dealing drugs there.

“He should have been able to feel safe in his own home, and Franks took that away from him, openly carrying a knife and making him feel desperate and too scared to ask him to leave.

“This case shows how seriously Northamptonshire Police takes any report of drug dealing, and also illustrates our commitment to protecting vulnerable people in our communities.

“If you have any information about similar activity in your local area, or have concerns about anyone who may be vulnerable to cuckooing, please report it to us so we can take action against offenders and provide support to those who need it.”

Non-emergency crimes can be reported by calling 101 or by visiting www.northants.police.uk/ro. In an emergency, where a crime is in progress or life is at risk, always call 999.