Three jailed for more than 20 years for slavery and drug offences
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Three drug dealers who forced a man to package up crack cocaine and heroin on their behalf have been jailed for their crimes.
Kyle O’Neill, Scott Elton, Jamie Wileman and Ian Diamond were sentenced to a total of more than 20 years at Leicester Crown Court today (Friday 11 March).
Between November 2016 and September 2017, the victim – who is in his 50s – was approached by O’Neill who befriended him and introduced him to Elton, Wileman and Diamond.
Over the subsequent months, the victim was coerced into storing cash and drugs for the gang. They made threats towards him and eventually forced him to package up wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, which they intended to sell.
Their crimes came to light in September 2017, when police were called to the victim’s home following a report of concern for his welfare.
All four men pleaded guilty of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class A at an earlier court hearing.
On Tuesday (8 March) following a trial, O’Neill and Elton were found guilty of conspiracy to require another to perform forced or compulsory labour. Wileman and Diamond were found not guilty.
O’Neill, 32, of Thurcaston Road, Leicester, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment
Elton, 30, of Edwards Street in Overseal, Derbyshire, was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment
Wileman, 28, of HMP Lowdham Grange, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment
Diamond, 42, of Towers Drive in Hinckley, was given a two-year suspended sentence
Sergeant Jo Ranson was the investigating officer. She said: “All four men are career criminals who callously prey on others for their own benefit. They saw the victim as an easy target and thought they would be able to exploit him to keep their dealings hidden from the public eye.
“Their crimes were only brought to light when police were called to the address in concerning circumstances. Thankfully, though, information was given that has led to them being brought to justice.
“They took over the victim’s house, which is known as ‘cuckooing’ and is where people criminals use the property to facilitate exploitation.
“I hope the sentences given today will provide the victim with a degree of closure and allow him to move on with his life.”