Three men who targeted vulnerable women in Kettering and sold drugs from their flats have been sentenced to 16 years and seven months in prison.
Ashton Campbell, Dean Butler and Barrington Nurse-Phillips appeared in Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, September 1, where they were convicted of offences of being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine and assaults on three women between April and August 2014.
The gang decided to set up their drug dealing business in Kettering in April 2014 after taking over the flat of a woman they had met, subjecting her to violence and dealing drugs from her flat against her will.
They then targeted two further women, taking over their homes, using violence against them and forcing them to take out phone contracts and hire cars to assist with dealing drugs.
The violent offenders were only caught after one of the victims managed to escape and find a place of safety before reporting the incident to the police, which prompted the investigation that revealed the scale of the crime.
Ashton Campbell, 27, of Denmark Road, Lambeth, London, was described as the leader of the gang and pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine.
He received five years and five months in prison.
He was found guilty of three counts of assault on the women and received a further two years and 11 months in prison.
He must serve two years and four months of this sentence, consecutively to the drugs offences, meaning a total of seven years and nine months.
Dean Butler, 30, of Rothwell, pleaded guilty to being concerned with the supply of heroin and cocaine and received four years in prison.
He also received a further year in prison for two counts of assault to run consecutively to his sentence for drugs offences.
Barrington Nurse-Phillips, 29, of Guillemot Lane, Wellingborough, pleaded guilty to being concerned with the supply of heroin and cocaine and received three years and eight months in prison.
DC Eve Atkin, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a very complex investigation with a number of safeguarding issues but we were able to support the victims of this case to enable them to give evidence.
“I would like to thank them for coming forward, they were very brave and we could not have achieved this good result at court without them.”
Det Insp Ali Reynolds, from the domestic abuse unit, said: “This was a very serious crime that had a significant impact on the lives of the victims and I am grateful for their support throughout the investigation and their courage in coming forward.
“Corby CID worked very hard at ensuring victim safety and I would encourage anyone who may be a victim of similar crimes to contact us and seek help.
“I am pleased at the sentence given and that the criminals will spend a significant time in jail.”