Jailed: Barking drug dealer who “cuckooed” vulnerable adult

Clayton Bailey was jailed for nearly three years. Picture: Essex Police

Clayton Bailey was jailed for nearly three years. Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Essex Police

A drug dealer from Barking who “cuckooed” the home of an vulnerable adult to sell heroin and crack cocaine has been jailed for nearly three years.

Clayton Bailey, 18, of Galleons Drive, was sentenced to 35 months in prison on Thursday, April 5 after admitting two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Police found weapons in every room of the property during a raid, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Acting on intelligence, officers forced entry to the home in Butneys, Basildon, in February after a drugs gang known as ‘Sonic’ overran it.

They found an axe, machete and large knife “strategically placed” in each room, as well as a mobile phone containing evidence of their illegal deals, officers said.

Two dozen wraps of heroin wrapped in cling film were hidden in the toilet bowl.

Bailey was arrested and subsequently charged.

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Following the sentencing, investigating officer Pc Andy Heard of Essex Police said the case highlights “the ruthless and cynical depths” dealers will plumb to hawk their wares.

“They exploited a vulnerable adult, taking over their home—a practice known as cuckooing—in order to sell Class A drugs on the streets of Basildon,” he added.

“The fact that a weapon was concealed in each room of the flat—no doubt in anticipation of a visit from a rival gang—also illustrates the violence that these gangs are prepared to perpetrate to protect their illegal business interests.”

Pc Heard credited the conviction to Operation Raptor South, which featured teams set up across the county to tackle violent crime.

“Operation Raptor South has now succeeded in locking up around 10 members of the Sonic gang and rest assured we will continue to lock up drug dealers and gang members intent on committing drug-related and violent crime on our streets,” he added.

Anyone concerned about similar crimes in their community can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.