Wellingborough drug dealers jailed for more than 16 years

Two men who brought guns and at least £10,000-worth of heroin and crack cocaine into a Wellingborough estate have been jailed.

Between October 2016 and April 2017 Liam Tinsdeall, 27, of Henshaw Road, Wellingborough and Sharif St John, 20, of Grasmere Green, Wellingborough, were responsible for running Class A drugs on the Hemmingwell estate.

Liam Tinsdeall, left, and Sharif St John

Liam Tinsdeall, left, and Sharif St John

An investigation into the pair began when Northamptonshire Police arrested an associate of Tinsdeall.

As a result, the drugs boss was forced to find a replacement.

Up stepped St John, who soon became Tinsdeall’s trusted right-hand man.

Inquiries revealed Tinsdeall and St John, 20, used the back garden of an unsuspecting resident of the estate to stash the drugs.

The illicit substances were hidden in undergrowth at the edge of the garden and routinely accessed through holes in a wooden boundary fence.

Tinsdeall also used the location to hide two handguns.

More than 200 individual wraps of crack cocaine, 28 wraps of heroin and three larger amounts of heroin weighing 70g combined were recovered during searches.

The drugs were estimated to have had a total street value of £9,700.

Two self-loading pistols — one which fired blanks, but had been adapted to have more lethal force, and the other a 9mm handgun of Spanish origin — in excess of £1,000 in cash and several wraps of cannabis were also seized.

At a previous hearing at Northampton Crown Court both Tinsdeall and St John pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

St John also admitted possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, relating to the recovered cannabis.

Tinsdeall denied possessing the two guns.

Following a trial at the same court in March, Tinsdeall was found guilty of possession of a firearm.

He was sentenced today (Friday, October 5) for 11 years eight months (five years for the firearms offence and six years eight months for the drugs offence).

St John was jailed in July for five years.

East Midlands Special Operations Unit Investigator Victoria Stather said: “The actions of these men not only saw deadly substances and guns brought into Northamptonshire, but also resulted in them being stored in a place where children played and could easily stumble across.

“It really doesn’t bear thinking about.

“As well as that very real and obvious risk, the depositing of the drugs and weapons in that area brought criminality and the inevitable violence that comes with it dangerously close to invading the everyday lives of law-abiding people.

“Tinsdeall and St John were sentenced for the damage their illegal activity was actually doing.

“Now jailed, the community has also been spared the further harm their actions could have caused.”