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Cousins jailed after crackdown on drug dealers

Two men caught in an undercover police operation to crack down on drug dealers in the Maidstone area have been sent to prison.

Thomas Fellowes, 26, was jailed for four and a half years and his 22-year-old cousin Wayne Crittenden was sentenced to four years.

A judge told the Maidstone pair that such offences were taken seriously because of the extensive human misery they caused.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that police used undercover officers earlier this year to clamp down on the supply of Class A drugs.

Martin Yale, prosecuting, said in April an officer known as Ricky went looking for “four stones” for £150 and a meeting was arranged on the Shepway Estate.

He met up with Crittenden, who was a passenger in a Ford Focus car, and the drug was handed over.

Mr Yale said arrangements were made for more drugs to be supplied. The officer was on one occasion handed cocaine at the back of Maidstone Prison.

Both Crittenden, of Mangravet Avenue, and Fellowes, of Highland Road, admitted supplying drugs.

Mr Yale said it appeared Fellowes was responsible for the price to be paid and Crittenden was working for him.

They were arrested in July. Investigations showed that between July 27 last year and June 25 this year, nearly £14,500 was paid into Fellowes’s bank account. Over £13,500 of it was cash.

The prosecutor said Crittenden fully admitted supplying drugs, claiming he was acting under the direction of Fellowes. Judge Griffith-Jones said the offences were serious and had anti-social consequences. Fellowes and Crittenden became involved in a commercial retail operation of some substance.

“You were both willing and able to supply significant quantities of drugs virtually on demand,” he said.

“Nothing less than a significant sentence of imprisonment in each of your cases can be justified.”

Her added it was a tragedy that Crittenden chose to involve himself, but he did so with his eyes open.

Mary Jacobson, for Fellowes, said it was a “fluid situation”. They were cousins sharing a home. It was not a stereotypical structure.

Fellowes had a serious accident in 2002, when he fractured his vertebrae. He had been trying to run a car business and the pressures became overwhelming.

He succumbed to drugs and it was suggested he could make some quick money. He intended to do it on a short-term basis to pay off debts.

“He did not make much money and he has not paid off his debts,” said Miss Jacobson.

A jail sentence meant Fellowes was missing his daughter’s first years. “That is the price he is paying,” said Miss Jacobson. “That has brought home what he has done. He is going to have to live with it.”

Roy Brown, for Crittenden, said his client deeply regretted getting involved. He turned to drugs when his father, from whom he had been estranged, died. “He feels he has besmirched his memory,” said Mr Brown.

“He started using cocaine. He doesn’t want to blame anyone else. He became involved voluntarily. He was out of his depth.

“It has had a devastating effect on his family. They are astonished he has found himself involved in an enterprise such as this.

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